Food delivery robot provides service at UW

Mandy Scheuer, Office Manager

Food delivery used to be limited to specific restaurants that wanted to provide that service, most often pizza place and Chinese restaurants.

Thanks to the easy accessibility provided by phone apps, we now have delivery services like Doordash, Grubhub and Eatstreet.

UW-Madison’s food service office has taken this concept one step further by delivering food on campus via robot.

According to Peter Testory, UW director of Dining and Culinary Services for the Housing Division, “Students simply download the app, place their order as they would from any other app, pay the $1.99 delivery fee and drop a pin for their pick up location. Dining hall staff are then alerted of the order and load the robots. Students can also track the location of their order as their food travels. The robots can carry deliveries within a four-mile radius and weigh no more than 100 pounds. The robots travel the speed of pedestrians, can navigate around objects and people and are electrically powered.”

The staff and students can track where their food is coming from and how close it is from the robot’s position to the staff/student’s position. The app that is needed to deliver food to staff and students is Starship Deliveries. You can download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play. Staff and students can use their WisCard to order the food they would like.

These robots can be seen on the UW-Madison campus already. They even use the crosswalks like a person.

Zimmermann’s company, Starship Technologies, has five employees. The company, arrived at the University of Wisconsin Madison campus mid-November.