PepsiCo and Kiwi aren’t the only companies getting in on the food delivery market courtesy of robots.
Starship Technologies is based out of Europe, and it announced this week (via The Verge) that it is deploying its robots at the George Mason University campus. The school will allow students to use their meal plans to actually order food from a variety of different sources, including Dunkin’, Starbucks, and the local Blaze Pizza. Starship Technologies says it will be adding additional restaurants in the “coming weeks”, but details on that are still light.
The company will be doling out 25 robots for the campus, each of which is equipped with nine wheels, can hold up to 20 pounds of goods, and can travel through snow and while it’s raining. Students will use the necessary app (available on iOS or Android) to order the food and then be able to put a pin down on a map to let the robot know where it needs to go to drop off the food. Starship Technologies says students will be able to choose “anywhere” on campus to meet up with the robot.
Each order will cost $1.99 extra for the option to have the wheeled robot deliver it. Cameras on the robots will make sure they don’t run into pedestrians or other objects, and the robots can go over curbs as well. They can travel at night, too, so the late night snacks shouldn’t be an issue, either. The lid on the robot can only be opened by the person who ordered the food or drink. What’s more, ST employees watch each delivery in real-time.
Universities across the United States are definitely starting to catch onto this trend. As mentioned earlier, PepsiCo recently launched its own “snackbots” at the University of the Pacific, and Kiwi has had its food delivery robots on the UC Berkeley campus for quite some time.
I don’t know about you, but this writer would have loved to have food delivered by robots when I was at university!
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