This Delivery Robot Can Run Over Thumbtacks and Broken Glass on Its Way to Your Doorstep

Starship Delivery Robot at the Bowling Green State University 8 photos
Photo: Goodyear tire and rubber company
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Almost a year ago, Starship achieved one million packages autonomously delivered to its customers with its robots, but its mission was just at the beginning and now found another solution to improve the six-wheeled motorized basket to reach its destination.
More companies developed delivery robots worldwide, and all of them are encountering similar situations. For example, a few Starship robots were stuck in the snow last December, which didn't look good for their maker. Another problem faced by these delivery robots is tire puncture. Like your car, they could also face that issue, which made them stuck on the way to and from their destination.

As a company that made over 1,000 delivery robots, Starship Technologies needed a new tire that could not suffer from a puncture on the road. But these little machines with a flagpole on the side are already in active service in Estonia, the UK, and the U.S. and they have already faced this issue. Since Starship Technologies is a Goodyear venture portfolio company, the tire maker jumped right in to help and develop a no-puncture tire (NPT).

Michael Rachita, Goodyear's senior program manager on non-pneumatic tires, says that "The micro delivery space presents a different set of needs as it relates to the tire, and our NPT technology is ideal to meet those needs to help enable a maintenance-free and long-lasting experience."

Testing began at the Bowling Green State University, and the preliminary results showed positive results for treadwear, braking, and vibration dampening. As we can see in the photos, these tires don't look fit for snow, but at least they can't get a puncture, which is much more important for the delivery robots. As Siim Viiup, a mechanical engineer at Starship Technologies, says, "Our delivery robots make thousands of deliveries every day in all types of weather conditions and terrain."

When Goodyear developed the new tires, it focused on their wear and to extend their life. Thus, the 1,000 six-wheeled delivery robots will have more chances to reach their destination, rolling without fear over broken glass and thumbtacks.
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About the author: Tudor Serban
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Tudor started his automotive career in 1996, writing for a magazine while working on his journalism degree. From Pikes Peaks to the Moroccan desert to the Laguna Seca, he's seen and done it all.
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