Robots Try Food Delivery in Europe

September 7, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. dispatch / dɪˈspætʃ / (v.) – to transport
Example: The company has already dispatched the prizes of the promo winners.

3. key in / KI ɪn / (v.) – to type letters or digits
Example: Please make sure to key in the correct information.

3. autonomously / ɔˈtɒn ə məs li / (adv.) – performing on its own
Example: These high-tech cars can drive autonomously.

4. aid / eɪd / (n.) – help or assistance
Example: We need the aid of technology to increase our productivity.

5. all the rage / ɔl ðə reɪdʒ / (idiom) – extremely popular at a particular time
Example: Healthy snacks are all the rage.


Read the text below.
Six-wheeled robots will soon be carrying out food delivery services in Europe.

London-based courier service company Starship Technologies will dispatch self-driving robots to cities such as London, Dusseldorf [DOO S-uh l-dawrf], and Bern [burn] to transport food orders from customers. The robots can hold a maximum weight of ten kilograms and run at approximately four miles per hour.

Deliveries are expected to arrive in a span of thirty minutes upon placement of order. Once the robot reaches its destination, customers can access their food purchases after they key in the system-generated code previously sent to their mobile phones.

While these robots function autonomously with the aid of cameras and sensors, actual people still observe their performance and can take control should difficulties arise. However, Starship affirms that the robots’ encounters with people walking on sidewalks were all accident-free.

Ahti Heinla, one of Starship’s founders, stated that the trial involving customers was the next stage in the company’s advancement. At this point, the company is looking into executing all their delivery tasks using robots.

With the rise of technology, delivery applications seem to be all the rage at the moment. This has led to companies creating innovative modes of delivery. While Starship is continuously working toward a futuristic delivery service, US-based delivery app Favor is doing the opposite. Instead of using robots, Favor hires people who own a bicycle, a car, or a motorcycle to deliver anything that a client wants. Their service ranges from delivering food and groceries to picking up and delivering dry cleaning.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that delivery robots will receive a positive response in your country? Why or why not?
·         Aside from the food industry, what other industries can benefit from using robots? Please explain.

Discussion B

·         How can becoming too dependent on technology affect us?
·         In what ways can we become more productive without relying too much on technology?

September 7, 2016