Starship Technologies is an autonomous delivery company that will start delivery on additional colleges this fall. This adds to its 20 existing campuses.
University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), University of Kentucky (UK), University of Nevada Reno (UNR), and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach campus in Florida will be graced by the Estonian-born firm’s tiny six-wheeled delivery robots with zero-emissions.
This announcement comes the same day as Kiwibot, another autonomous sidewalk delivery robot company, has partnered with hospitality giant Sodexo to bring food delivery to college campuses. Starship, unlike Kiwibot, will be able to deliver food directly from campus restaurants and stores. The outcome, despite the differences, is similar: Even though Delta continues to increase its case load, delivery companies have begun to prepare for a normal school year. This could be either a good thing or a bad thing for Starships, Kiwibots, and the rest of the Starships. More ‘Rona could mean more students staying in and less interaction with other people. It could lead to school closures or a lot of unproductive bots.
Dean Kennedy, UNR’s executive director for residential, housing, and food services, said that Starship robots are an integral part of safely returning students to campus. Everyone wants to return to in-person classes. We’re making every effort to ensure that it happens responsibly. Robots have many advantages: they can be used to facilitate social distancing, make it easier for students to communicate with each other, and allow them to continue the tradition of innovation on campus.
UIC will receive 25 Starship robots, UNR will get 20, and Embry-Riddle 20 each. These robots will add to Starship’s fleet of more than 1,000 delivery robots. Since its inception, the company claims it has done more than 1.5million rides. It has raised a total of $102 million, including its recent $17 million funding round.
Alastair Westgarth (CEO of Starship), stated that Starship has worked hard to be a reliable and integral partner in our campus communities. We are adding new schools each semester and will be announcing more in the fall. Robots are a hit with students and schools alike. Each of these students are so wonderful that we can’t wait for them to visit us. We also look forward to hiring them on each campus to provide real-world experience with AI and robots.
Faculty and students will have the ability to download Starship Food Delivery to order meals, and to drop off a pin indicating where they would like their delivery. The app allows them to track and unlock the robot. Or they can just wait for the alert. Starship claims it will train and employ students on local campuses interested in learning about autonomous technology and joining its team.
Publiated at Tue 10 August 2021 22:40 +0000