It just became that much easier for students to grab food without interrupting a study break. Starship and Sodexo have launched a robot food delivery service at Virginia's George Mason University, giving students and staff access to food within an average of 15 minutes or less. Pay $2 through Starship's mobile app and one of the more than 25 automatons will deliver pizza, coffee and other grub to a convenient pickup point on campus. It even ties into the school's student meal plans (the first such tie-in anywhere, according to Starship) and debit program.
The initial partners include Blaze Pizza, Dunkin' and Starbucks. More are coming in the weeks ahead, and there are plans for more campus offerings around the world.
Importantly, this isn't a test project. Virginia has legalized delivery robots, letting Starship operate full-fledged service in the state so long as it honors guidelines on speed, weight and monitoring. You might not see widespread adoption until and unless other states follow suit, but the GMU rollout could pave the way for future deployments if it proves successful.