A robot delivering pizza, sure. You’re probably wondering what science fiction movie I was watching where I saw that. Well, it was a movie clip, but it is absolute reality.
DRU stands for Domino’s Robotic Unit. And yes, that is Domino’s Pizza. The Australian division of US-based Domino’s has just announced their intention to use robots to deliver pizzas:
In a ground-breaking, world-first initiative Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited (Domino’s) has unveiled plans for its newest team member – an autonomous delivery vehicle named DRU (Domino’s Robotic Unit). Now that’s outside the box!
The Company confirmed the idea for DRU came from within their internal innovation sessions and has been developed within Domino’s own DLAB, a purpose built lab aimed at helping budding entrepreneurs commercialise their ideas.
“With a dedicated innovation lab this project has been accelerated much faster than normal projects, without losing any of the quality control.”
DRU is powered by technology from Australian start-up company, Marathon Robotics.
The robot is equipped with a LIDAR sensory system that will prevent it from running into obstacles. Its maximum speed is 20 kilometres an hour, which makes it suitable for sidewalks and bike paths. DRU has a compartment that keeps pizza’s warm and a compartment that keeps your drinks cool. The robot will use GPS and Google Maps to autonomously navigate to the delivery address, where the customer will be able to open the unit with his or her smartphone and a unique code.
More Companies Intend to Deliver by Robot
Domino’s is not the only company experimenting with delivery robots. Last November, I wrote a post about Starship, a start-up founded by two Skype co-founders working on a similar idea. They have recently been testing their robot on the streets of London. Another company working on delivery robots is DHL, which has partnered with start-up Sidewalk.
The past year all eyes were aimed at the sky, and everybody was talking about drones. Now that most countries place heavy restrictions on drones for safety and security reasons, people are starting to look down to the ground again.
It is concepts like these that are perfect for the Ship-to Person model I first wrote about in January of 2014. Why have a ship-to address when you have an autonomously driving robot? As long as the robot knows that I walked over to my friend’s house on the next block, it should be no problem to change the delivery location, even when the robot is already in transit.
I don’t have pizza delivered often, but as soon as the first DRU hit’s the streets of Rotterdam, I’m eating pizza!
Check out this video about DRU: