Domino’s pizza delivery boys might soon be replaced by its pizza delivery robots who will not only deliver pizzas but will also accept payments from customers just like their human counterparts.
Domino’s Robotic Unit will be using a GPS system to find its way across the cities with its capability of travelling on bridges, bike paths, footpaths and even trails to reach its destination. DRU is a four-wheeled delivery vehicle that could do anything from conveniently moving a fence to talking to customers. According to Lifehacker Australia, the company offered the first prototype of the delivery robot in Brisbane that will be tested to the utmost level of efficiency expected from a delivery vehicle/person.
Domino’s has been involved in developing this DRU for the last eight months at its local innovation lab. The robot can move with a maximum speed of 18 to 20 kilometres per hour, carrying compartments for drinks and pizzas. Domino’s built the pizza delivery robots in collaboration with Australian tech startup, Marathon Robotics. The company specialises in producing robots fit for live-fire army training. DRU is a $30K military-grade robot that has been developed specifically for pizza delivery purposes.
The robot’s current inability to travel through roads and highways will restrict its functions as a delivery vehicle to some neighbourhoods for the time being. With its LIDAR sensory system, DRU will be able to track obstacles on its way and prompt a change in its way accordingly. A laser light in it will enable it to measure objects as well as the distance by illuminating them.
Domino’s Group CEO Don Meij did not reveal the development costs, but he indicated that the first DRU will target to deliver pizzas in 6 months time around Brisbane where the Domino’s headquarters is located, according to The Australian. He added that the DRU will prove safer than human drivers.
“One of our inspirations for DRU is safety — it seems pretty crazy to us that we use one-and-a-half tonne vehicles to deliver a few hundred grammes of pizza,” Meij said.