Robots Are Now Bringing Breakfast to College Kids in Arizona: ‘[This Is] a Lifesaver’

delivery-robot
Delivery Robots Starship robots and Sodexo

It’s a good time to be a student in college! Research has shown that up to 88 percent of college students skip breakfast, primarily because of lack of time, but Starship Technologies and Sodexo, a French company that oversees dining services at more than 700 colleges and universities, are looking to change that.

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On Monday, March 25, the businesses announced they expanded their fleet of breakfast-delivering robots, which is now roaming Northern Arizona University’s Flagstaff campus and doing its part to satiate hungry coeds.

Furthermore, to help celebrate the launch of this group of more than 30 robots and raise awareness of the breakfast offerings, the companies partnered with Einstein Bros. Bagels and offered free breakfast for the remainder of the academic year to the NAU student who placed the first order via the Starship app.

The school’s nearly 25,000 students and faculty can now use said app to order food and drinks from local retailers, which will then be delivered anywhere on campus, within minutes. Each on-demand delivery costs just $1.99 and also works in conjunction with the student meal plan.

To get started, all users need to do is open the app, choose the items they want and drop a pin where they want their delivery to be sent. They can then watch as the robot makes its journey to them, with help from an interactive map. Once the robot arrives, users will receive an alert and can then meet it and unlock their order through the app. In other words, there’s little chance another student could steal your robot-delivered eats.

The delivery usually takes just a matter of minutes, depending on the menu items ordered and the distance the robot must travel, and each robot is designed to carry up to 20 pounds at a time.

delivery-robot
Delivery Robots Starship robots and Sodexo

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“I’m really excited for these robots! Having the ability to get breakfast delivered right to my door simply with my meal plan will be a lifesaver for early classes and long days,” said NAU student Josh Feygin.

The helpful machines created by the two companies first debuted on the campus of George Mason University in Virginia at the end of January. In less than two months, that group of robots managed to autonomously deliver more than 1,500 breakfast orders.

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“We’ve been very pleased with how quickly Starship has been embraced on college campuses,” said Ryan Tuohy, SVP of business development at Starship Technologies, in a statement. “These campuses are hubs of innovation and activity, with both students and faculty needing convenient and flexible services. Our on-demand delivery is perfectly suited to this environment.”

These college-friendly robots come at a time when restaurant chains are also experimenting with ways to improve how their food is delivered. Earlier this week, Domino’s announced customers would be able to place orders from the touch a button in their cars by the end of 2019, and back in February, Pizza Hut confirmed it would begin delivering pizzas with robots starting in summer 2019.

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