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Curb-climbing robotic food delivery heading to university

Curb-climbing robotic food delivery heading to university
Curb-climbing robotic food delivery heading to university

The United Kingdom’s students at Cranfield University will get a taste of robotic food delivery on campus this year. The university has partnered with autonomous delivery robot manufacturer Peyk for the first last-mile delivery on campus in this country.

This opportunity is even more unique because students studying robotics will also get to work on a project that will trial the PeykBot. It’s a “flexible peer-to-peer robot” which will be performed during a group project. This is an excellent initiative to give students industry-relevant experience.

Gilbert Tang, a senior lecturer in robotics at Cranfield, says: “This is also a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn directly from a robotics company and apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios.”

These robots will bring exciting skills to the student environment, including transporting goods and library books around campus. It can also move quickly between classes to deliver mail and more to maximize lecture and student productivity.

The PeykBot, still being trialed and tested, can climb curbs, and different boxes can be attached to its body. Allowing students to work on this project could be a win-win situation for the industry. It has the potential to create “unique post-study job opportunities,” as pointed out by Salman Moghimi, founder and CEO of Peyk.

Robots on campus in the US

It’s not the first time robots have been integrated on a campus.

In August 2023, Wichita State University in the US introduced a robot delivery service at seven campuses. Starship Technologies designed the technology in such a way that it could integrate with student cards.

Starship has been one of the front leaders in food robot delivery, specifically at universities.

The robotic manufacturer is now celebrating five years in the industry. It first launched in 2019, with its first robot taking ground at George Mason University. Today, it’s boasting that its robots are delivering nearly 500,000 orders successfully to customers at this campus.

Safety concerns

There are concerns about the safety of these knee-height robots driving along the sidewalks. In an isolated incident in October 2023, Oregon State University urged students and staff members not to open the food delivery robots. This was after a false bomb threat was made, falsely claiming it contained explosives.

The robots were back on the road just a few hours after the false threats were made. However, the financial impact of this work stoppage during peak hours had unfortunate costs and consequences.

Starship also has robots in colleges, not only universities. “Our robots have now rolled onto nearly 50 college campuses and serve over a million students nationwide, solidifying our position as the industry leader in autonomous food delivery,” says the robotics company.

NOW READ: Uber Eats’ robot delivery set to improve human errors

Photo Credit: Peyk

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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