Robots could come to Trafford after a pilot scheme to use them for deliveries in some parts of Sale and Timperley was approved.

The Personal Delivery Devices (PDDs) are the idea of Starship Technologies, a firm founded by Skype co-developers Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis.

Starship Technologies approached Trafford Council for approval of a pilot scheme to use them for deliveries in some parts of Sale and Timperley.

It came after the success of similar schemes in Milton Keynes and Northampton, where tens of thousands of households are now served by PDDs.

The firm works with the Co-Op, of which there are two in the area west of the A56 affected by the trial – one on Coppice Avenue and one on Washway Road.

These two supermarkets will be allowed to use PDDs for deliveries to households as far north as Ashton on Mersey and as far south as Altrincham Retail Park.

Messenger Newspapers: The area affected by the trialThe area affected by the trial (Image: Google)

The feedback from the trial, which will be accompanied by a campaign and a consultation, is to be used to inform whether the firm tries to make it permanent.

But it is expected to be a boost both in terms of accessibility and sustainability.

A report to executive member for environmental services Cllr Stephen Adshead, who signed off on the pilot scheme last month, reads: "The approval of the trial will assist vulnerable residents who have limited access to local shops and will offer an alternative way of receiving goods and services.

"It will also help to reduce the need to travel by vehicle for short journeys to local shops."

According to the Starship Technologies website, residents arrange their deliveries on an app, which also allows them to track and unlock the robots.

The PDDs travel on pavements and use sensors to avoid obstacles, although there is a control centre with human operators for all significant issues. Permission for the pilot scheme came into effect on November 18.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. Jack is a reporter for The Messenger and covers anything and everything from within the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford.

To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.