The first big chain is getting into the robot delivery game.
The idea of robots delivering food may sound like an episode out of The Jetsons, but it will soon be a reality for one major pizza chain.
Domino's has announced plans to partner with Estonian-based robot group Starship Technologies for sidewalk robots to replace that dreaded (and sometimes awkward) human interaction between two complete strangers.
This isn't the first time Starship has provided futuristic units (Door Dash and Just Eat partnered with the company for their delivery services as well), but this appears to be the first major food chain to make a high-priced and public investment in food delivery technology.
“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 ."
The first fleet will roll out (literally, on six wheels) in Hamburg, Germany within the next two months. Customers will be required to opt in for robots as a delivery preference, though you must be within a mile radius of select Domino's locations.
The robot itself is actually quite adorable, standing at only two feet tall, weighing 40 pounds and resembling a typical beach cooler. It moves at an average walking pace of four miles per hour and will be accompanied by an actual human (in the beginning, at least) to ensure an accurate and accident-free journey.
For those reluctant to embrace this foray into the future, you will at least be saving time and money by not having to search your sofa cushions for loose change. The robots do not accept tips, but we are sure they do accept reassuring pats on the head.