Earlier this year, a startup known as Starship Technologies launched a brand new service focused on delivering food and other groceries to university students. The pilot program used self-driving robots to bring these goods to students at two universities in the United States.
This week, the San Francisco-based startup revealed a plan to expand the program to at least 100 universities across the next two years. The plan comes with a fresh infusion of $40 million in new funding. It will focus mainly on schools in the US, starting with the University of Pittsburgh, on Tuesday. In September, the program will continue to expand to Purdue University. The program came online in January at George Mason University, followed by Northern Arizona University, in March.
Starship Technologies is just one of many companies to come about during a time when delivery robots are poised to become a standardized method. This technology has already attracted the likes of technology behemoths like Amazon and Google; and, of course, United Parcel Service (UPS). Delivery/logistics companies like Postmates and Workhouse have also expressed interest.
Starship CEO Lex Bayer comments, “There’s going to be a whole generation of students that grow up tapping on their phone when they’re hungry and a robot brings food to them.”
To accomplish, though, Starship is currently offering a monthly commercial package delivery service for both business and consumer clients at a minimal fee of only $10 per month. This complements the firm’s much larger commercial meal delivery program (aimed at corporate entities and academic campuses); all deliveries also carry a fee of typically no more than $2.