Grubhub is deploying Yandex Self-Driving Group's robot delivery technology, also called rovers, on the University of Arizona's campus. This will be the second campus rolling out this delivery option; Grubhub and Yandex teamed up to roll out delivery at Ohio State University this fall.
Rise of the Delivery Robots
Delivery robots are on the rise, especially at college campuses. Starship, which started delivering food to Purdue students back in 2019, now has 1000+ robots in its fleet worldwide. Recently, Kiwibot and Sodexo teamed up on robotic food delivery at select universities.
More than 35,000 Wildcats will be able to order their favorite foods from on-campus dining locations – including IQ Fresh, Einstein Bros Bagels, On Deck Deli and Sabor – via the Grubhub app and have it delivered by one of the rovers. Yandex's third-generation robots autonomously navigate pavements, campus crosswalks and pedestrian areas at speeds between 3 to 5 miles per hour during daytime and after dark and in various weather conditions, including rain, wind and heat. The rovers operate seven days a week, and students can request delivery to popular locations on campus including the dormitories, Main and Weaver library, McKale Center and more.
"We've been working with the University of Arizona's dining team on efforts that drive the dining experience forward for the last eight years – from rolling out on-campus pickup and delivery to smart food lockers and our Ultimate ordering technology," said Travis Price, senior manager, strategic partnerships at Grubhub. "The deployment of this robot delivery technology is an exciting way we're providing innovative solutions to our partners, and we look forward to continuing to support the university's dining operations."
"Our ongoing partnership with Grubhub, and now Yandex, continues to strengthen and bring cool new innovation to our campus," said Todd Millay, executive director of Arizona Student Unions. "We're lucky to be the second school in the nation to launch with Grubhub's new robot delivery service, and we can't wait for our students to enjoy the convenience of this amazing technology."
"We are excited to see just how quickly autonomous delivery robots are becoming an essential part of campus life," said Peter Szelei, business development executive at Yandex SDG. Our robots are already delivering thousands of orders every week on college campuses -- simplifying the daily lives of students, professors and anyone spending time on college campuses. The University of Arizona campus will feature our newly launched third-generation robots, and we hope the students will enjoy them."
Features of the third-generation robots include removable batteries that take less than a minute to replace, additional cameras, a sleek new design that boasts increased robot capacity, LED headlights and softer suspension - making it easier for the robots to traverse challenging terrain, such as high curbs.