UArizona to offer on-campus food delivery via autonomous rover

Nov 20, 2021, 5:45 AM

PHOENIX — Students and staff at the University of Arizona shouldn’t be alarmed by the robots that started rolling around campus Wednesday.

A partnership between Arizona Student Unions and food delivery service Grubhub has the autonomous rovers delivering meals from favorite on-campus dining locations.

Customers can use the Grubhub app to have the robots grab food from restaurants for pickup or in-person delivery.

IQ Fresh, Einstein Bros Bagels, On Deck Deli and Sabor are among the dining options that will require restaurant staff to stock the robots.

“We know that our students are very interested in forward-thinking tech applications such as smart vending machines, and we hope that with this new delivery option, we can offer quicker deliveries, especially during rush times, across campus,” Christine Carlson, director of dining and nutrition for Arizona Student Unions, said in a press release.

The rovers, manufactured by the Yandex Self-Driving Group, weight about 100 pounds and can go up to 5 mph.

UArizona is the second campus to offer delivery option, with Ohio State University being the first.

The six-wheeled vehicles will operate seven days a week and can operate during the day, at night and in several weather conditions.

Popular locations for delivery include dormitories, the Main Library, Albert B. Weaver Science-Engineering Library and McKale Memorial Center.

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UArizona to offer on-campus food delivery via autonomous rover