British co-operative group Co-op has partnered with Cambridgeshire County Council and Starship Technologies to introduce food delivery robots in Cambridge.

The partners have expanded the service following a successful trial in nearby Cambourne earlier this year.

Following approval from the Highways and Transport Committee, Starship robots will deliver groceries to 12,200 residents in the Cherry Hinton and Queen Edith areas from 17 November.

Customers can make orders through the Starship food delivery mobile app and groceries will be picked from local Co-op stores on Perne Road and Cherry Hinton Road.

The app is available for download on both iOS and Android devices.

Co-op e-commerce director Chris Conway said: “Co-op is committed to exploring new and innovative ways to increase access to its products and services.

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“Our members and customers lead busy lives and so ease, speed and convenience is a cornerstone of our approach.

“Co-op stores are well-placed in local communities to provide quick and easy home deliveries – whether a full shop or last-minute top-ups.

“We are pleased that the trial has expanded into Cambridge and has been seen to contribute to the reduction in unnecessary car journeys while providing flexible options online for shoppers in our communities.”

The introduction of robot deliveries in Cambridge comes after Co-op and Starship launched services in Bedford and Northampton earlier this year.

Starship robots are powered by battery and can travel at speeds of up to 4mph. They use sensors, artificial intelligence, machine learning and a computer vision-based navigation system.

Starship Technologies UK operations manager Andrew Curtis said: “Our friendly robots have been very well received and, as a result, are actively reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions in the areas they operate in.

“We are very much looking forward to working closely with Cambridgeshire County Council and Co-op, and hope to further expand our service over the coming years.”