Starship’s autonomous food delivery robots started rolling out across the University of Missisppi (Ole Miss) yesterday, reports the school’s newspaper. This, evidently, makes Ole Miss the first college in the Southeastern Conference to get autonomous robot delivery, which isn’t a huge deal to us, but is probably a jab at rival University of Alabama somehow.
Starship’s robots are cooler-sized, six-wheeled self-driving vehicles that automatically navigate around people and obstacles. Students and staff wanting food download the Starship app and place an order from participating eateries at that college. They then pay a $1.99 fee to have it delivered to wherever they are on campus.
Starship shows that it is not slowing down the rollout of its robotic services in the new year. The list of colleges using Starship’s robots is getting too long to mention each time we write about them. But in the past few months alone Starship’s bots have begun service at the University of Houston, the University of Wisconsin, and the company re-started service at the University of Pittsburgh.
As the litany of colleges using Starship continues to grow, one has to wonder what’s up with Kiwi, another startup that makes squat food delivery robots for college campuses. The company announced an updated version of its robot with new capabilities back in December, but hasn’t made much noise since then.
There are a lot of colleges out there, so there is still plenty of opportunity for Kiwi. But at the rate Starship is going, its solution looks like it’s becoming turnkey. The more miles and deliveries Starship runs, the more data it collects and the better its service will become, which will beget even more adoption by more schools.
If Kiwi doesn’t start ramping up, it’s going to miss out on more than just Ole Miss.