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Shopping robots trial is expanded across more of Trafford

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The use of shopping delivery robots for vulnerable people is being expanded in Trafford with some assuming the names of Santa's favourite reindeer ahead of Christmas. ‘Personal delivery devices’ first appeared in the Sale area in March for a trial period and now the council executive has agreed to extend it by another six and into the Timperley and Urmston areas.

The autonomous ‘bots’ - linked to local Co-op stores - have been used by 9,000 residents and membership of a Facebook group for users has more than 800 members, councillors were told in a report.

A total of 57,000 deliveries have been made to local people, many of whom are disabled or housebound in some other way. The robots developed by Starship Technologies are designed to carry food, groceries and parcels to vulnerable residents who have limited access to shops.

Another advantage is that it helps to reduce the need to travel by car for short journeys to local shops, a report said. READ MORE: New 'shopping robots' take to Greater Manchester's streets for official launch READ MORE: More Greater Manchester buildings confirmed as having RAAC, prompting fears about their potential use to house refugees The successful trial was praised by executive member for highways, environmental and traded services Coun Stephen Adshead, revealing eight of the robots being named after reindeer ahead of Christmas.

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