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. Meet DRU:
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 pizza’s:
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 equiped with a LIDAR sensory system that will prevent it from running into obstacles. It’s maximum speed is 20 kilometers 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.
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, who are 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, who 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 Janurary 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 order pizza that much, but as soon as the first DRU hit’s the streets of Rotterdam, I’m eating pizza!
Check out this video about DRU: