Starship Technologies food delivery robots take on their biggest college campus yet
The robotic food couriers of Starship Technologies have taken on quite a few jobs since the startup first broke cover in 2015, delivering pizzas for Domino’s and taking part in pilots across Europe. As part of the company’s delivery service for college and corporate campuses, the roaming six-wheelers are now taking to the grounds of Purdue University, where they will serve their largest customer base to date.
While the Starship Technologies has put its robots to the test on public streets in the UK, Germany and Switzerland, its immediate focus appears to be letting them go to work within the confines of private campuses.
Last year it launched a service specifically for these environments, allowing customers to order food from participating cafes and restaurants via the Starship mobile app and dropping a pin on the map to set a rendezvous point. The retailer then loads the prepared food into the robot’s cargo hold and leaves it to autonomously navigate to the pin, pushing a notification to the user’s phone when it has arrived.
The company has since introduced robot delivery services at George Mason University in Virginia and Northern Arizona University, but Purdue University is the largest college to take part yet. The 43,000 students on campus will have more than 30 robotic couriers to call on for brain food, with each delivery carrying a flat fee of US$1.99 (in addition to their order).
And there will be plenty more to come. Just last month, Starship Technologies announced another $40 million in funding, along with an expansion plan involving a further 100 university campuses across the US.
“An entire generation of university students are growing up in a world where they expect to receive a delivery from a robot after a few taps on their smartphone,” Lex Bayer, CEO of Starship Technologies, said at the time. “The reception to our service both on campuses and in neighborhoods has been phenomenal. Our customers appreciate how we make their lives easier and give them back the gift of time.”
You can see Purdue University president Mitch Daniels receive the campus’ first delivery in the video below.
Source: Purdue University