Robots used to deliver groceries from Co-op in Sale

Granada Reports journalist Paul Crone went to see what the robots got up to.

A supermarket is trialling a new way to get its groceries to customers - by using an army of robots.

Co-op in Sale, Greater Manchester, has joined forces with Starship Technologies and Trafford Council to roll out the online delivery service to 24,000 people in the area.

The items are ordered through an app, collected and packaged by supermarket staff, before then being delivered by one of the small army anywhere up to two miles away.

The items are ordered through an app and then collected from the supermarket. Credit: Granada Reports

George Hayworth, Co-op’s Head of Online Development, said: "It could be someone that is unable to get out of the house, so you know they’ll have a use for it, or it could be that you’re cooking a meal and you can’t leave the house, or you’ve got a baby in bed asleep.

"These robots will bring you anything that you need.”

The robots are fitted with alarms and cameras that make sure nobody can take them and  you need a QR code to get all the items inside. 

“It’s just become a way of life now, around Sale,” said Mr Hayworth.

“At first, when we first went live, people were stopping and staring and taking pictures, the usual kind of stuff as you’d expect. 

“But like you say, they’ve been adopted so well it’s just a way of life for people. 

“The uptake has been absolutely phenomenal, we’ve had hundreds of orders, thousands of orders in the first few weeks. 

“So it’s been incredible. The community has really adopted it.”

The robots are fitted with multiple alarms and cameras so they can't be taken off the streets. Credit: Granada Reports

These robots are already a familiar sight in Milton Keynes, Northampton, Bedford, Cambridge and Leeds.

They were created after company Starship found 25% of its customers either have, or live with someone that has, an accessibility need.

The robots also mean there are less cars on the road and people are less likely to use their vehicles to make those shorter journeys.

This also makes them better for the environment, and is helping reduce the carbon footprint.

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