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Grubhub rolls out delivery robots at more college campuses

Grubhub is deploying Starship delivery robots at college campuses across the U.S. (Photo: Sierra Guard/Creative Services/George Mason University)

The hippest new thing on many campuses has six wheels and brings you food and beverages.

Gruhub is expanding a partnership with autonomous delivery robot provider Starship Technologies to enable robotic deliveries at the campuses of George Mason University, Baylor University and East Carolina University. 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.

To place a robotic delivery order, customers at eligible campuses open the Grubhub app and will be able to choose from a range of restaurants labeled “Offers Robot Delivery,” then select the location to send their delivery. They can then watch via an interactive map as the robot travels to their location. Once the robot arrives, they receive an alert and meet and unlock it through the app.

The two companies first partnered in October 2022, and currently also offer this delivery method at the University of Kentucky; the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Wayne State University; Southern Methodist University; and Fairfield University. 

“We’ve gotten feedback from campus partners that robot delivery complements their existing dining programs, and we’re thrilled to bring this option to Baylor University and East Carolina University,” said Adam Herbert, senior director of campus partnerships at Grubhub. “We want our diners to have more options when ordering their favorite meals for delivery, and this offering does just that while we help our campus partners adopt and deploy innovative technology.”

“We’re excited to kick off the new year with service at two more schools,” said Chris Neider, director, business development at Starship Technologies. “We’re getting great feedback from our universities and directly from the students on how much they like the service and how much our robots have integrated themselves into the respective campus communities. Both Baylor and ECU are always looking for new ways to enhance the on-campus experience and we’re confident that the robots will be warmly welcomed.”

Grubhub goes to college

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.

Grubhub partners with more than 270 college campuses across the U.S. to give students the ability to integrate meal plans directly into their Grubhub account and access restaurants both on- and off-campus for delivery and pickup.

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