The companies behind the innovative robot deliveries at George Mason University are taking their technology to a new campus. Students at Northern Arizona University (NAU) can now have Einstein Bros. Bagels delivered directly to them by a fleet of 25 self-driving robots.
The program is operated by foodservice company Sodexo in partnership with Starship Technologies. Students at campuses can order autonomous food delivery from several retail partners. Since the robots’ debut at George Mason University on January 22, more than 1,500 breakfast orders have been placed.
With research showing that up to 88 percent of college students skip breakfast mostly due to lack of time, delivery robots on campus can help them better start their school days.
“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,” says NAU student Josh Feygin.
Nearly 25,000 NAU students and faculty can now use the Starship app to order food and drinks from local retailers to be delivered anywhere on campus, within minutes. Students place an order through the app, drop a pin for the delivery location, and can follow an interactive map to track the robot’s location as it makes its way across campus. They then receive a notification when the robot arrives and can unlock the robot to retrieve their order, all through the app. Each robot can carry up to 20 pounds, which is the equivalent of about three shopping bags of goods.
Each on-demand delivery costs just $1.99 and also works in conjunction with the student meal plan. Other participating retailers include national chains Star Ginger, as well as on-campus restaurants Cobrizo Mexican Grill, Turnip the Greens, G's New York Style Deli, and The Wedge Market and Pizza.
“We've been very pleased with how quickly Starship has been embraced on college campuses,” says Ryan Tuohy, SVP, Business Development, Starship Technologies. “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 and we can't wait to introduce our robots to the students and faculty at Northern Arizona University.”
“Today's college students are prolific users of food delivery apps and they place a high value on convenience, ease and diversity of options, so we are thrilled to be able to provide this cutting-edge robot delivery service to Northern Arizona University via our partnership with Starship,” adds Barry Telford, CEO, Universities West, Sodexo North America.
Sodexo and Starship Technologies, along with Einstein Bros. Bagels, celebrated the NAU launch by offering free breakfast for the remainder of the academic year to the NAU student who placed the first order via the Starship app.