Grubhub Is Using Robots to Make On-Campus Food Deliveries

The bots are currently at Ohio State University, but there are more coming.

Courtesy of Grubhub
Courtesy of Grubhub

Grubhub is testing something new and exciting on Ohio State University's campus. The food delivery service uses rovers, which are essentially robot coolers outfitted with cameras, to deliver students their orders. 

The robot delivery fleet was first unveiled by OSU's Student Life dining services on August 19, according to a release from the company. There are 50 robots, developed in partnership with the European internet company Yandex, currently operating on the college campus. Students can order from any on-campus dining options through the Grubhub app, and they'll receive a visit from one of the bots with their food inside. 

"We're excited to bring this cutting-edge and efficient delivery experience to students at The Ohio State University," Brian Madigan, vice president of corporate and campus partners at Grubhub, said in a statement. "OSU and Grubhub have worked together for years to offer students a variety of ways to enjoy the food they love on campus. Now we're building on our efforts to enhance the dining experience through Yandex's rover technology for quicker and easier deliveries."

Students can request robots to deliver their food to any residence halls on campus, Thompson Library, and Bricker Hall. Grubhub's rovers operate seven days a week on OSU's campus. They run from 9 am to 9 pm, so anyone ordering before or after that time will likely deal with an actual delivery person. Each robot can fit a few coffees and a bagel or several pizzas, so no matter your order, the rovers can handle it. Their design helps keep food at the right temperature, so you won't have to eat hot food cold or cold food lukewarm.

Grubhub's delivery bots can autonomously navigate the campus, from crosswalks to pedestrian areas. They travel between three and five miles per hour and are less susceptible to dark and bad weather. According to the Seattle Times, the current fleet of delivery robots will grow from 50 to 100 in the coming months.

According to the newspaper, the hope is that Grubhub can launch this tech on other campuses across the country in the months to come. The company is currently testing the robots elsewhere but declined to provide specifics.

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Caitlyn Hitt is Daria IRL. Don't take our word for it—find her on Twitter @nyltiaccc.