Starship Technologies

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Starship Technologies
FoundersJanus Friis and Ahti Heinla
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California

Starship Technologies is a company developing small self-driving robotic delivery vehicles (unmanned ground vehicles). The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with engineering operations in Tallinn, Estonia.[1] "Starship Technologies, Inc." was incorporated in Delaware, USA, on 3 December 2015, with a registered corporate address in Sherman Oaks, CA.[2]


Starship Technologies was founded in 2014 by Skype cofounders Janus Friis and Ahti Heinla.[1] Ahti Heinla also acts as the CEO and CTO of the company.[3][4] The company's VP of Engineering is Lauri Väin.

According to former CSO Allan Martinson, the roots of the team go back to Team Kuukulgur led by Ahti Heinla, and there are similarities to robots.[5]

On 30 August 2016, Starship Technologies received the Golden Computer award for Startup of the Year from the German technology magazine Computer Bild.[6] Starship's Head and Testing of Operations Helen Kaarlep was present to receive the award.[7]

In June 2018, Company earned seed investment of $25 million from its existing investors along with the Co-founder of Airbnb and Skype founding engineer.[8]

Delivery robots[edit]

A man and a Starship Technologies delivery robot waiting at a pedestrian crossing in Redwood City, California

The electric-powered rovers ride on sidewalks at a pedestrian speed (max 6 km/h), can be remote-controlled if autonomous operation fails, and will only be used for relatively short-range local delivery.[9]

The robots are equipped with a sensor suite that includes cameras, GPS and inertial measurement unit, possibly also other sensors but notably no LIDAR. The robot will have microphones and speakers, so they can communicate with humans they meet. Starship Technologies plans to launch pilot services in 2016, in the US and the UK among other countries, with commercial service starting in 2017.[9]

Since 2016, Starship delivery robots have been used by the Wolt online food ordering service in Tallinn.[10][11]

In March 2017, Dominos entered into a partnership with Starship Technologies to use the latter's robots as "personal delivery devices".[12][13]

See also[edit]

  • Nuro, a similar autonomous delivery vehicle, though larger at the size of a tiny car, and driving on the road.


  1. ^ a b "About Us". Starship Technologies. 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-30.
  2. ^ Padilla, Alex (28 September 2016). "Statement and Designation by Foreign Corporation". Business Search. California Secretary of State. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Ahti Heinla - Co-Founder, CEO, & CTO @ Starship Technologies - Crunchbase". Crunchbase.
  4. ^ "Ahti Heinla - Starship Technologies". Starship Technologies.
  5. ^ "16. novembri Digitund: Proovime OnePlus X ja Apple TV-d, pikem jutt Allan Martinsoniga Starshipist" [16 November Digitund: We try out OnePlus X and the Apple TV; along with a longer conversation with Allan Martinson from Starship]. Digitund (in Estonian). Estonia: Raadio1. 2015-11-16.
  6. ^ Schuldt, Rainer; Brüggen-Freye, Claudia (2016-08-30). "Der Goldene Computer 2016: Das sind die Gewinner!" [The Golden Computer 2016: These are the Winners!] (in German). Computer Bild. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  7. ^ Hankewitz, Sten (2016-08-31). "Starship voted the Startup of the Year by a German magazine". Estonian World. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  8. ^ "Robot delivery firm Starship Technologies has hired an Airbnb veteran as its new CEO and raised $25 million". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  9. ^ a b Ivana Kottasova (3 November 2015). "Forget drones, here come delivery robots". CNNMoney.
  10. ^ "Wolt delivers the goods with robots". Good News from Finland. 28 November 2016.
  11. ^ "Starship hakkab Tallinnas toitu koju tooma". Arvutimaailm (in Estonian). 28 November 2016.
  12. ^ Fuscaldo, Donna (2017-03-29). "Domino's Pizza Delivery By Robot Coming To Select German, Dutch Cities (DPZ)". Investopedia. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  13. ^ Kolodny, Lora. "Domino's and Starship Technologies will deliver pizza by robot in Europe this summer". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-09-18.

External links[edit]