The announcement was made earlier today. Domino’s and Starship Technologies, a ground robot startup company, expect the robots to be on the streets within the next two months.
The robots have six wheels and are nearly two feet tall. They weigh only 40 pounds when empty and they can reach speeds of up to four-miles per hour. That’s about how fast humans walk.
Domino's Pizza just created the first pizza-delivering robot. What a time to be alive.
Posted by BuzzFeed Food on Saturday, March 19, 2016
For now, the robots will only deliver pizza within a mile radius of select Domino’s locations. A human will accompany the robots, just to make sure nothing goes wrong. However, the bots are capable of roving around sidewalks autonomously.
Starship’s robots are powered by battery and they are not designed to operate on roads, just sidewalks. They feature a cargo hold, which is unlocked via code sent to the customer’s mobile phones. The cargo hold area is insulated and the pizzas will be placed in a bag similar to the ones used for deliveries made via motorcycle.
Don Meij, Domino’s Group CEO and Managing Director, said he believes the partnership with Starship aligns with Domino’s growth strategy. He said robot deliveries will complement their fleet of cars, e-bikes and scooters to deliver hot pizzas to their customers. Meij said the robots will become an important part in helping Domino’s complete last-mile deliveries regularly, due to a surge in deliveries and not enough drivers to complete them.
This isn’t the first time Domino’s have used non-traditional methods to make pizza deliveries. In the past, the company made a pizza delivery using a drone in New Zealand. It has also used its own sidewalk robot to deliver pizza in Australia. As of now, it’s not clear whether Domino’s will only work with Starship or if it will eventually use their own robots to deliver pizzas as well.