Greater Manchester’s little shopping delivery robots are rolling out to more areas

It comes after a "successful" trial scheme has now been extended.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 20th September 2023

Residents in even more areas of Greater Manchester will soon start to see little robots roaming the streets as they deliver Co-op groceries.

It comes after a recent trial scheme has been hailed so “successful” that it’s now been extended.

In case you’re not quite in the loop, back in March of this year, supermarket retailer Co-op grabbed headlines as it announced an extension of what was an already-ongoing partnership with Starship Technologies, and joined forces with Trafford Council to bring autonomous grocery deliveries to residents in Sale and Timperley.

Before then, the little robots were already a familiar – and initially confusing – sight to those living in Milton Keynes, Northampton, Bedford, Cambridge, and Leeds, but they soon became regular visitors to the streets of our region.

The futuristic service was initially made available to 24,000 residents across 10,500 households in the Trafford borough.


But now, they’re set to roll out to a handful of other local neighbourhoods.

Trafford Council has announced that after the trial proved to be such a hit with customers ordering from the two participating Co-op stores of Washway Road and Coppice Avenue, it has now agreed plans with Starship Technologies this week for the scheme to be extended to Co-op stores in three other areas.


Shoppers in Davyhulme and Flixton, Timperley Central, and Ashton upon Mersey, will soon be able to make the most of the innovative technology.

This means that, when residents place an order through the Starship food delivery app – which is available to download on both iOS and Android – fresh groceries will be picked from local Co-op stores and delivered directly to their door on demand, with delivery fees starting from just as little as 99p.

Starship’s robots are battery-powered, lightweight, and travel at the speed of a pedestrian.


They use a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to travel on pavements and navigate around any obstacles, while their computer vision-based navigation helps them map their environment to the nearest inch.

It’s estimated that the electric robots have already saved over 300 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere in the UK by replacing car journeys to and from the supermarket.

It comes after a “successful” trial scheme has now been extended / Credit: Starship Technologies

Trafford Council says the partnership extension shows how “committed” it is to helping the environment and reducing carbon emissions, with Cllr Stephen Adshead, who is Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Highways, Environmental and Traded Services, adding that he’s “delighted” the local authority has decided to extend the trial by a further six months and roll-out to more areas.

He continued: “The robots have [not only] reduced thousands of car journeys and are cutting emissions [but] they also come to the aid of the elderly and disabled who find it difficult to get to their local shops by bringing the items to their door.

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“We are excited to be working with the Co-op and Starship Technologies to extend this initiative.”

Featured Image – Starship Technologies