Grubhub continues rolling out campus delivery robots

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
AI concept
Grubhub is shaking up college campuses with autonomous delivery robots.

Online and mobile food-ordering and delivery platform Grubhub is expanding its use of autonomous delivery robots at colleges nationwide.

Grubhub is partnering with Kiwibot, a last-mile robotic delivery company, to provide robot delivery services on college campuses. Robot delivery from Kiwibot and Grubhub will first be available at the University of North Dakota in December 2022, before rolling out to additional schools in the first academic semester of 2023.

University of North Dakota students will be able to select robotic delivery via the Grubhub app from on-campus dining locations. The Kiwibots rely on a high-driving autonomous system and can operate in snow and extreme weather conditions. For safety, they move at the same speed as a human walking pace, and can hold up to 25 pounds.

Grubhub rolls out delivery robots at colleges nationwide
Grubhub’s partnership with Kiwibot builds on several other existing robotic delivery collaborations. The on-demand delivery provider also partners with autonomous delivery robot provider Starship Technologies to enable robotic deliveries at multiple colleges. Starship's zero-emission robots can travel up to 4 mph, carry the equivalent of three bags of groceries and operate in various weather conditions, including rain and snow.

Grubhub is also partnering with self-driving, AI-powered robotics provider Cartken to bring robot delivery to students at Ohio State University. Cartken robots are designed to navigate pavements, crosswalks and pedestrian paths within the campus area without human guidance.

The robots use Cartken's artificial intelligence (AI) and camera-based navigation and mapping technology, which the company developed for small autonomous vehicles to safely operate around pedestrians.

And Grubhub previously teamed up with the autonomous vehicle subsidiary of European Internet firm Yandex to roll out delivery via Yandex robots at Ohio State. The Yandex robots autonomously navigate pavements, campus crosswalks, and pedestrian areas at speeds between three to five miles per hour during daytime and after dark.

"When it comes to the campus dining experience, we see robot delivery as a complementary offering to traditional delivery since the robots can navigate hard-to-reach areas on campuses," said Adam Herbert, senior director of campus partnerships at Grubhub. "Our campus partners have been asking for us to help bring this delivery option to their school, and we are excited to partner with Kiwibot to expand this innovative and convenient type of delivery to more colleges across the country."

"It is an exciting endeavor for Kiwibot to expand our partner base," said Felipe Chávez, CEO of Kiwibot. "Our partnership with Grubhub means we'll be able to provide an integrated delivery service that allows students to experience Kiwibot delivery right from Grubhub's app. We are honored to bring innovative solutions to the University of North Dakota community with our disruptive robotic service that delivers meals, happiness and extraordinary moments."

"Bringing a delivery service to campus was an offering we've been wanting to provide at the university, and we are excited for this innovative delivery service to become available to students," said Orlynn Rosaasen, director of dining services at the University of North Dakota. "We know just how busy students are, and this type of delivery will provide them with one more option to access food on campus during their busy days."

Grubhub partners with more than 250 college campuses across the U.S. to give students the ability to integrate meal plans directly into their Grubhub account and have access to restaurants both on- and off-campus for delivery and pickup.

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