Your schedule is packed with back-to-back Zoom meetings and all you need is a quick meal to refuel before the next round of meetings or maybe you are at your college dorm studying away and get a hankering for some of the famous pizza from the place down the street but have a deadline to meet. While typical food delivery is nothing new, “robot food delivery is no longer the stuff of science fiction.”
Utilizing robots for food delivery had just started in limited numbers before coronavirus swept through the world. Now with increased demand, not only for food delivery but for contactless delivery, companies like Starship Technologies, are ramping up to bring this technology to more places. Starship has more than 1,000 robots in their lineup, up from 250 in 2019.
The robots are made up of either 4 or 6 wheels, cameras, sensors, and GPS. Some have laser scanners to navigate sidewalks and cross streets and they move at about 5 mph. This brings into question some of the drawbacks of their use:
- Electric powered– regular charging is needed.
- Slow speed- 5 mph won’t get you your sandwich “freaky fast”.
- Inflexibility- telling the robot to leave the food outside your door isn’t an option.
As with any innovation, it will take time to refine and advance the technology but there are already many benefits to a 3rd party delivery. The fees for delivery are less, the robots deliver one order at a time, and it’s a novel idea and fits right in on college campuses. The question is, will they remain popular enough for growth after the novelty wears off. Time will tell.