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George Mason Students Have New Dining Option: Food Delivered by Robots

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A fleet of SnackBots on the George Mason University campus.

Students on campus at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, will soon have access to a fleet of autonomous robots that can deliver food to them.

Credit: Jeff Elkins

George Mason University students will soon have a fleet of 25 autonomous wheeled robots delivering meals to them across campus.

The robots, known as SnackBots, can each carry up to 20 pounds and travel four miles an hour, for an average delivery time of 15 minutes or less; an app from the robots' creator, Estonia-based Starship Technology, lets students order food from local chains like Starbucks, in addition to a grocery store.

Once an order is placed, users ‘drop a pin’ on the location where they want their order to be delivered, and they can follow the SnackBot’s progress via an interactive map.

The robots navigate using artificial intelligence, ultrasonic sensors, and multiple cameras; customers are alerted upon arrival, and they can use the Starship app to unlock the robot and collect their purchases.

A two-way audio connection allows customers to engage with human teleoperators who can take control of the robot when necessary.

From The Washington Post
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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