Robots are delivering food to Oregon State students; university heralds it as ideal for coronavirus pandemic

The obsolescence of humans is upon us.

The latest evidence can be found in Corvallis, where beginning today robots are delivering food to Oregon State students, professors and staff. The university put out a statement Wednesday heralding that it’s “the first campus in the state to have autonomous delivery robots.”

Take that, human-delivery-dependent University of Oregon!

The robots were created by a San Francisco company called, of course, Starship Technologies.

Kerry Paterson, who heads up Oregon State’s residential-dining services, says the “contactless” delivery system is a particularly valuable option for this pandemic year.

“This service is yet another way we can facilitate COVID protocols regulating restaurants,” he said.

The robots can keep food hot or cold as required, and they’re cleaned between deliveries.

Better still: the ‘bots are cute. Offers the university press statement:

“Paterson said most people find the robots pretty adorable, with their rounded bodies and steady pace as they hurry around campus.”

The technology also could prove to be a boon for restaurants that aren’t in college towns. In Michigan, the Ann Arbor-based company Refraction AI launched a self-driving robot that delivers food for 15% of the cost of the meal, about half the charge for human delivery.

Early reviews from restaurateurs and customers are positive, suggesting that robot delivery service is going to live long and prosper.

— Douglas Perry

[email protected]


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