High school graduation happened last night in my town, which means in a matter of months, most of those kids will be heading off to college. And maybe, if they are lucky, they’ll be heading off to a college that has delivery robots.
As we’ve covered throughout the year, companies like Starship and Kiwi are bringing their li’l rover robots to college campuses like George Mason University, Northern Arizona University, UC Berkeley, Purdue, Cornell, NYU, Stanford, and Harvard. These delivery robots scurry about to bring hungry students snacks and meals.
At George Mason in particular, Starship’s robots are proving quite popular. According to an article yesterday in The Chronicle of Higher Education, George Mason has more than doubled it robot delivery fleet since January, adding 23 robots to the initial order of 20. And GMU is not stopping there: the university plans to add another 15 to the fleet in the fall.
That’s a lot of robots roaming about the quad.
In addition to adding more ‘bots, the popularity of robots also has the school imposing some limits. Starship told me during an interview earlier this year that though the robots could make deliveries 24/7, George Mason limits delivery hours so as not to interfere with students’ sleeping habits.
I used Kiwi’s robot delivery service at Berkeley earlier this year, and while it had its hiccups, the overall experience felt like living in the future. The ability to order food from your phone and have it delivered wherever you have on campus brings news levels of convenience that busy/lazy college students will quickly get used to.