By Kassidy Tsikitas | Staff Writer
Starship Technologies and Grubhub have partnered to create robots that deliver food to the Baylor community around campus. After soft launching them in the fall to work out the kinks in the system, the robots are now roaming campus as a fully-functioning delivery service.
“When we tested it in the fall, we found additional optimal drop-off locations for students that we’ve since added,” senior campus program manager Matt Boice said. “Including the Baylor Science Building and Bill Daniel Student Center entrances.”
The autonomous robots are tracked by GPS, creating a secure journey for whatever it is holding inside, according to the Starship Robots website.
“If someone tries to lift, tip or tamper with the robot, a loud alarm will sound,” the website said.
The Starship robots are aware of their surroundings and are designed to get things to people in a timely manner.
“The robots are advanced, autonomous devices that carry items, such as groceries, hot food or parcels, over short distances,” Starship Robots website said.
The excitement students had for the robots in the fall influenced the choice to officially launch the robots for the spring semester.
The delivery service is a more affordable option to get a meal or quick snack on campus compared to services like Uber Eats. The flat fee for delivery stays the same when ordering via the app.
Boice also said they have been working with campus partners for years to excel the delivery and pickup of Grubhub services.
“Offering this type of delivery further improves the Grubhub dining experience as we continue to provide innovative solutions for our campus partners,” Boice said.
Starship came up with the innovative technology to make it “delivery-as-a-service solution,” making it more suitable for campus.
Camarillo, Calif., senior Julia Ruiz said she often stays late on campus for long study nights.
“I was at Moody and saw they were soft launching the robots in the fall, and I wanted to try it out,” Ruiz said. “I hope in the future it will be able to do off-campus deliveries.”
She also said having the option to have a robot handle a delivery that late was convenient for students doing work on campus.
Oceanside, Calif., freshman Aidan Montanez said he likes how the robots fully operate without user assistance.
“They continue making students’ lives easier and due to their size, they don’t seem to bother anyone or cause any traffic despite moving slow and steady,” Montanez said.