Trudging through snowstorms to get food will soon be a thing of the past for some lucky college students. As of January 22, students at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia will now be able to have food delivered via robot.
The new robot food delivery system is a collaboration between Sodexo and Starship Technologies. While similar technologies have been tried previously, George Mason is the first university to integrate the technology into its college meal plan, making it less of a luxury, and more of an everyday experience.
To use it, students must first download the Starship Deliveries app on Android or iOS. From there, they are able to order food and drinks from places like Blaze Pizza, Starbucks, Dunkin‘, and the campus grocery store. Sodexo said more restaurants are going to be announced soon. Students pay $1.99 per trip for the on-demand service which usually takes about 15 minutes to complete.
With 25 food delivery robots, George Mason now has the largest fleet of any campus in the country. They robots drive autonomously in any type of weather and can navigate everyday obstacles like curbs. But they are monitored by humans who can take over the controls at any time.
Users can track their delivery in real-time via an interactive map in the Starship app. The hatch can only be unlocked with the smartphone that placed the order.
“With the hectic schedules students lead, there is a convenience for students to have their food, groceries, and packages delivered,” Ryan Tuohy, SVP of business development at Starship Technologies said in a statement. “Our goal is to make life a little bit easier for students, whether that means skipping the line, eating lunch on the lawn rather than in the cafe, or finding the time to eat better when studying for exams.”
London-baed Starship Technologies opened a D.C. office in 2017 and has been testing personal delivery robots in more than 100 cities nationwide since 2015.
Shop everybodyshops.com for fun new kitchen gadgets and appliances.