Just Eat has delivered its first ever meal to be delivered by an autonomous robot, thanks to its partnership with Starship Technologies.
Testing robot deliveries in Greenwich, London
Just Eat is an online food order and delivery service, not unlike Uber Eats and other sorts. The company’s been working with Starship Technologies since this summer to add robots to the equation, and it seems like all the hard work is starting to pay off.
Yesterday, Just Eat successfully delivered Turkish food to an unassuming customer via an autonomous robot. Now, drones have already been used to deliver food elsewhere, but it’s the first time that food was delivered by a ground-based robot. The robot itself is, according to the company, tamperproof, but still, I can’t help but think ground-based food delivery robots will be more susceptible to mean-spirited trolls out there.
At any rate, it seems like Just Eat’s robot delivery will be limited to Greenwich for now, but will expand to more parts of central London next year. There isn’t a way for the customer to choose a robot over a human when getting their food delivered, so if you are in Greenwich, you’ll just have to rely on your luck.
It’s only going to get bigger
Food delivery via robots is increasing all over the world. We’ve already seen some Domino’s chains delivering pizzas by autonomous drones, and Chipotle is following suit. Although Just Eat is the first to do so with a ground-based model, rumour has it other fast food corporations are developing ways to add ground robots as well.
With companies like Starship Technologies working to replace more and more humans who deliver food, the unavoidable question is “How do we find a balance between companies looking to maximize profits and workers earning a life out of these jobs that are about to become extinct?”