Grubhub and Starship Technologies recently rolled out its robot food delivery service on SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s campus. Starship’s fleet of autonomous, on-demand robots will deliver from four of SUNY Poly’s Student Center eateries: (Utica Coffee, Wildcat Grill, Limon & Chile and 400 Acre Café).
SUNY Poly students, faculty and staff, as well as visitors, can now use the Grubhub app (iOS and Android) to order food and drinks from these on-campus eateries to be delivered anywhere on campus, within minutes. The service also works in conjunction with the student meal plan.
“At SUNY Poly, we actively look for ways to enhance the student experience. The response from students to the robots’ presence on campus and the new service has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Marybeth Lyons. “I applaud the hard work of our Auxiliary Services and Wildcat Hospitality teams in forging this new partnership with Starship Technologies and Grubhub, which only adds to our campus’ culture of innovation.”
“We always love bringing our Starship robots to schools that really embrace technology and SUNY Poly is certainly one of those schools,” said Chris Neider, VP of Business Development at Starship Technologies. “We think the campus community will enjoy seeing our autonomous delivery technology on a daily basis and will also appreciate the convenience of on-demand delivery, especially as the colder weather starts. We’re looking forward to becoming a part of the Wildcat community!”
To get started, users open the Grubhub app, choose from a range of their favorite food or drink items, then select the location for 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 about three shopping bags of goods.
Grubhub and Starship are already providing robot food delivery services to campuses across the country, including University of Kentucky, Fairfield University, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Wayne State University and Southern Methodist University. Since launch, those campuses have increased the number of robots, dining options and hours of operation to meet the high demand for the service.
Starship Technologies operates commercially on a daily basis around the world. Its zero-emission robots have made more than five million autonomous deliveries, traveled millions of miles and make more than 150,000 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.