UW-Madison housing launches robot delivery service
University biggest in U.S. to offer service
MADISON, Wis. — The University Housing Dining & Culinary Services at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is launching a new delivery service with robots that can autonomously deliver food.
According to a release, the school will have access to a fleet of 30 Starship Technologies robots.
“Our students are juggling more than they ever have before and we are always looking for inventive ways to support their campus dining needs,” said Peter Testory, director of University Housing Dining & Culinary Services. “This delivery service allows us to reach them in a whole new way with made-from-scratch meals we offer from our dining markets. This added convenience and flexibility of dining for students allows us to provide an affordable option for those on campus.”
Students, faculty and staff can use the Starship Deliveries app to choose the items they want from one of three locations and drop a pin where they want their food to be delivered. Delivery is available from Carson’s Market, Four Lakes Market and Liz’s Market.
The release said the app allows users to watch the robot’s path on a map and receive an alert when the robot arrives. The delivery can take minutes, depending on the order’s size and the distance it has to travel.
The robots can carry 20 pounds, about three shopping bags of groceries. Each delivery costs $1.99, and students will be able to pay by Wiscard in the coming weeks.
At launch, the service area will include north of University Avenue and Campus Drive, west of Park Street and east of Walnut Street. The release said service will expand to the rest of campus in the coming weeks.
Starship Technologies operates robots around the world. Its robots have traveled 350,000 miles and made more than 150,000 autonomous deliveries.
“University of Wisconsin is our biggest U.S. campus to date, which gives us an opportunity to help the students and faculty save time that would have been spent in line or waiting for their food,” Ryan Tuohy, senior vice president of business development for Starship Technologies, said. “Now they can have more time to focus on the things that are important to them.”
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