Robot Food-Delivery Service Debuts at Purdue University

If you’re ordering food to Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus, keep an eye out for a new kind of delivery driver. Purdue is now sharing its sidewalks with a fleet of robots that deliver meals at the push of a button. Sharp Technologies launched the robot food-delivery service this week. Students, faculty and staff can download the Starship Deliveries app to their phone or tablet, and the dutiful, car-like robots will deliver food and drinks to anywhere on campus. The delivery app is similar to booking a ride through Uber or Lyft; a user can order a meal, enter a location, watch the robot’s progress through an interactive map and receive a notification when the food arrives. The robots use a combination of sophisticated machine learning, artificial intelligence and sensors to travel on sidewalks and navigate around obstacles. Local retailers who plan to participate will be announced in the coming weeks, according to a press release.