Robot delivery via Starship’s fleet is being introduced today at the University of Notre Dame by Grubhub and Starship Technologies.
Six campus eateries (Au Bon Pain, Garbanzo, The Gilded Bean, Hagerty Family Cafe, Modern Market, and Taco Bell) will participate in Starship’s initial launch, with up to 30 on-demand robots making deliveries. More than 17,000 students, faculty, and staff at the University can now use the Grubhub app (iOS and Android) to place orders from campus eateries and get them delivered to their doors or desks in a matter of minutes. The service is compatible with the meal plans that many schools offer. By spring, there will be fifty robots in Campus Dining’s fleet, all of which will be assigned to new restaurants.
It gives us great pleasure to announce our collaboration with Grubhub and Starship Technologies to bring robot delivery to the campus community. The executive director of campus dining, Luigi Alberganti, believes that the robots will improve the quality of service by making the dining facilities more accessible to students.
You can use the Grubhub app to order robot delivery with minimal effort. First, users open the Grubhub app and select a restaurant from the list of options labelled “Offers Robot Delivery.” From there, they choose the address to which they want their food delivered. The user can track the robot’s progress to their location in real time via an online map. They will get a notification on their phone to meet the robot and unlock it once it has arrived. Each robot has the hauling capacity of about three standard grocery bags.
Senior Director of Campus Partnerships at Grubhub Adam Herbert was enthusiastic about bringing robot delivery to Notre Dame’s campus and supporting innovation within the university’s campus dining programme. We have been collaborating with Notre Dame for many years, and the transition to robot delivery was a natural one. This entails providing options for on-the-go ordering, such as Grubhub Ultimate, a kiosk solution, and lockers for in-stadium pickup.
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More than 270 colleges and universities in the US have partnered with Grubhub so that their students can use their meal plans to order from local and national restaurants for delivery or pickup.
Chris Neider, vice president of business development at Starship Technologies, said, “We’ve been expanding our relationship with Grubhub, and we’re pleased to announce that Notre Dame is our latest collaboration.” On-demand deliveries will be greatly appreciated by the campus community, whether it’s to save time or to avoid the seasonal weather. Robots are unfazed by wet, cold, or snowy conditions.
University Enterprises and Events’ upper echelons collaborated with Starship that fall of 2022 to plot out the most efficient delivery routes across campus. The group then worked together with the Office of Campus Safety and University Operations to spread awareness of the new programme and ensure it complied with Notre Dame’s safety regulations. Delivery by robot won’t put anyone out of a job in Campus Dining, but it will make everyone more efficient.
Positive changes to campus life are inevitable as a result of the robot fleet. Alberganti explained that the new options were “part of our ongoing effort to bring innovative solutions to Campus Dining,” that they would “expand our omnichannel retail strategy,” and that they would “provide flexibility and accessibility for our students.” As an added bonus, “they are going to be a fun addition to our community.”