Delivery Robots Set To Invade College Campuses This Fall

Starship Technologies, an autonomous delivery company, focused on last-mile delivery services, announced Tuesday via a company press release, that it will launch delivery robots on 100 university campuses across the US in the next 24 months.

The announcement said the delivery robots have already arrived at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, in preparation for the fall semester. Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, will receive robots on Sept. 9 and an additional 98 university campuses by late 2H21.

"An entire generation of university students are growing up in a world where they expect to receive a delivery from a robot after a few taps on their smartphone. The reception to our service both on campuses and in neighborhoods has been phenomenal. Our customers appreciate how we make their lives easier and give them back the gift of time," said Lex Bayer, CEO of Starship.

In the coming weeks, students at the University of Pittsburgh will be able to order their favorite food and drinks from Einstein Bros. Bagels and Common Grounds via delivery robots to any set location they want, in the proximity of the campus. Students, according to the release, can use their meal plan points to pay for food and delivery charges.

Not too long ago, Starship started a pilot delivery program at George Mason University (Fairfax, VA) and Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ). Since the tests, students at both campuses have fallen in love with the robots. The company said they had to increase robots in both schools to stay with demand.

When the expansion to all 100 campuses by 2H21 is completed, the company expects to have the delivery service readily available to more than one million students.

The Starship app is a revolutionary way of last-mile delivery; students must first download the app on iOS and Android before they can place an order.

Once their meal plan, credit card, or their parents' credit card is connected to the account, students can select their favorite food or drink items, then drop a pin on a map of where they want the robot to drop off the goods. As per the release, delivery charges could cost around $1.99, depends on several factors, including distance and how busy the service is at the time.

Starship robots use sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to navigate sidewalks and avoid obstacles. These last-mile robots can cross streets, climb curbs, avoid potholes, travel in most weather conditions, and even at night.

The company claims since the robots are battery-powered, it can reduce pollution. As we've pointed out in the past, numerous studies have concluded that electric cars and or e-scooters are dirtier for the environment than most think.

Nevertheless, the automation of last-mile deliveries is another warning that robots will displace millions of jobs by 2030.