Starship Technologies rolled out its robot food delivery service today at Missouri State University, in partnership with Chartwells Higher Education. This is the first university in Missouri where Starship delivery robots are providing service. The robots will provide deliveries daily.
Starship’s fleet of 20 autonomous, on-demand robots will deliver food from several campus eateries, including:
- Einstein Bros. Bagels.
- Panda Express.
- Market Café 1905 (will be added soon).
“I think the robots will be a huge hit on campus,” said Dee Siscoe, Missouri State vice president for student affairs. “Our campus community will be able to receive food and drinks in a fun, fast and innovative new way!”
Missouri State’s more than 20,000 students, faculty and staff can now use the Starship Food Delivery app (iOS and Android) to order food and drinks from local retailers to be delivered anywhere on the main campus, within minutes. The service will soon work in conjunction with the student meal plan dining dollars.
“I’m really excited for these robots! Having the ability to get food delivered right to my location simply with my meal plan will be a lifesaver for long days,” Missouri State student Ovidio De Leon said.
According to Terry Weber, Missouri State’s Plaster Student Union director, the convenience that robotic food delivery will provide to the campus is immense.
“Buildings and individuals not in close proximity to the dining centers or retail vendors will have food options they’ve never had before,” he said.
Starship is already providing services to campuses across the country, including Bowling Green State University, University of Houston, The University of Utah and University of Idaho. Since launch, all campuses have increased the number of robots, dining options and hours of operation to meet the high demand for the service.
How does the service work?
To get started, users open the Starship Deliveries app, choose from a range of their favorite food or drink items, then drop a pin where they want their delivery to be sent. They can then watch as the robot makes its journey to them, via an interactive map.
Once the robot arrives, they receive an alert, and can then meet and unlock it through the app. The delivery usually takes just a matter of minutes, depending on the menu items ordered and the distance the robot must travel. Each robot can carry the equivalent of about three shopping bags of goods.
“We’re excited to start the new school year by expanding our services to Missouri,” said Chris Neider, director, business development at Starship Technologies. “We think the students will quickly see the advantages of contactless delivery and enjoy having the robots become part of the campus community.”
More about the robots
Starship Technologies operates commercially daily around the world and is already providing services to campuses across the country. Its zero-emission robots have made more than 3.5 million autonomous deliveries, traveled millions of miles and make more than 140,000 road crossings every day.
The robots use a combination of sophisticated machine learning, artificial intelligence and sensors to travel on sidewalks and navigate around obstacles. The computer vision-based navigation helps the robots to map their environment to the nearest inch. The robots can cross streets, climb curbs, travel at night and operate in both rain and snow. A team of humans can also monitor their progress remotely and can take control at a moment’s notice.