Autonomous delivery robots are popping up everywhere these days. The latest ones are hitting the streets of Westwood, California and delivering food around the UCLA campus. Since starting two weeks ago, the robots have already made 200 successful deliveries.
Autonomous Delivery Robots in Westwood
The autonomous delivery robots were created by startup Kiwi Campus which originated at UC Berkeley. They’ve been delivering food orders around a three-mile radius of Westwood, from the Hill to Santa Monica Boulevard. So far the company has partnered with 15 local restaurants such as Subway, Jamba Juice, and the Gypsy Cafe.
The robots, who look like they are straight out of a kid’s cartoon, are about the size of a cooler and roll around on 4 wheels. Onboard sensors and six fully integrated HD cameras help them navigate and avoid any objects or people that may get in the way.
Robots Integrated With Mobile App
Customers can order from local restaurants via the app. Once the food is ready, the restaurant loads the meal into the robot and sends it on its way. When the Kiwi bot reaches its destination, the customer can unlock it via the app and receive their order. The robot then goes to its next destination.
The Kiwi bots can hold and deliver up to 5 orders at one time. The company boasts an average delivery time of 27 minutes. As of now, the delivery fee is $3.80 but the company hopes that instead of a delivery charge, businesses eventually will pay a service fee to use the robots.
The Kiwi autonomous delivery robots are not yet making deliveries within the UCLA campus as the company is still applying for the proper permits. Kiwi Campus plans to release 100 more robots this year, and 500 more next year. They hope to eventually expand to areas and campuses around Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and San Jose.