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Familiarising horses with delivery robots

At The British Horse Society, our priority is the safety of horse and rider. For this reason, the BHS is working closely with Starship Technologies to make sure the roll-out of new delivery robots in selected areas across Cambridgeshire is done with equine safety in mind.

We accept that robots are here to stay, playing a large part of a wide-ranging agenda from Cambridge County Council to reduce local car journeys and air pollution, therefore our aim is to educate and influence robot behaviour so that they act suitably around horses. Most notably, this includes stopping at a safe distance and waiting for a rider to pass before continuing on their journey.

To develop these behaviours, Starship is collecting incident reports from horse riders who have interacted with delivery robots. Whether they are positive or negative encounters, collating these events and gathering multiple points of data will be the solution to establishing correct robot behaviour.

The BHS welcomes this opportunity to improve the safety of horses and their riders, and encourages our members to report any encounters using the Horse i app. The more incidents that are reported, the more the BHS can do to improve horse riders’ safety around delivery robots.

It is recognised that adapting the robots’ actions is just one part of the puzzle; just like cars, these robots still have the potential to startle horses. To combat this, Starship is offering familiarisation sessions for riders and their horses based in Cambourne. If robots are currently in your area and you wish to book a robot familiarisation session with a robot or learn more about the roll-out, please contact Starship Technologies at

We invite you to join the BHS Safety Team and Starship Technologies in the new year, to learn more about the work we’re doing to improve equine safety around delivery robots. Keep an eye out for further details about the event, which is set to be held in Cambourne, in your upcoming e-news.