The era of automated takeaway delivery is upon us – after it was revealed this week that a dozen restaurants in London are involved in trials using unmanned robots.
The initiative is being led by Just Eat, which has taken stock of 20 six-wheeled electric trolleys built by Estonian firm Starship Technologies.
As a result, the first takeaway delivery by a robot has now reportedly been made in the UK – a dish of falafel and lamb cutlets from a Turkish restaurant in Greenwich to a local customer.
According to reports, the robotic vehicles have a range of 10 miles and can travel at four miles an hour.
The robots reach their destination via GPS, a battery of cameras and sensors, with operators taking remote control of the vehicles if any difficult obstacles are encountered during the journey.
The cost of transporting goods within a three-mile radius is around £1, which is up to six times cheaper than it costs for human delivery.
Just Eat says the self-driving robots will ultimately increase delivery capacity for restaurant partners.
The company recently held an event where press were invited to see how virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence and self-driving delivery robots will transform the way food is consumed.
Just Eat’s dedicated product development team provided guests with a hands-on experience of the innovations that will help improve food experiences for both customers and restaurants in the decades to come.
“Technology is at the heart of everything we do at Just Eat. We are always seeking ways to help our restaurant partners grow and ensure new and existing customers have a reliable, convenient and, increasingly, fun experience when they order from us,” said David Buttress, chief executive of Just Eat.
“Technology innovation helps us bring the greatest breadth of choice to consumers while giving our fantastic restaurant partners the tools and resources to further their own ambitions,” he added.