No, you don’t have to tip a robot when it delivers your pizza.
While technology may innovate at lightning speed, good old pizza is here to stay. But that doesn’t mean that the way you get your pizza won’t change.
Today the global pizza chain Domino’s announced it is partnering with Starship Technologies, the Estonian-based ground robot startup, to begin delivering pizza in Hamburg, Germany, this year. The companies expect robot deliveries to start in the next two months.
Starship’s six-wheeled robots are a little under two feet tall, weigh about 40 pounds when empty and travel around four miles per hour — walking speed.
For now, the robotic deliveries will only be available within a mile radius of select Domino’s locations. And though Starship’s bots can rove around on sidewalks autonomously, for now the machines will be accompanied by a human to monitor in case something goes wrong.
This isn’t Domino’s first foray using the latest in delivery technology to sling pizzas. In New Zealand last year, the company delivered a pizza via drone. The pizza arrived hot after a short journey, flying for less than five minutes.
“Robotic delivery units will complement our existing delivery methods, including cars, scooters and e-bikes,” said Don Meij, Domino’s Group CEO in a statement.
“With our growth plans over the next five to 10 years, we simply won’t have enough delivery drivers if we do not look to add to our fleet through initiatives such as this,” said Meij.
Customers who want their pizza brought by a robot will have to opt-in — otherwise regular delivery methods will be used.
Last March, Domino’s unveiled and tested a sidewalk robot that the company created itself, which completed a successful delivery in Australia. It’s unclear if the company plans to work with Starship instead of building its own technology in the long-term.
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