Wichita State Dining is going high tech with the rollout of robotic food delivery on campus, thanks to a partnership with Starship Technologies.
Starting today (Aug. 14), Starship’s fleet of autonomous, on-demand robots are available to deliver food from the following campus restaurants:
- RSC Starbucks
- Panda Express
- Freddy’s Frozen Custard
- Tu Taco
- Market at Groundhouse
- Cargill Cafe
- Black & Gold Grill: A Delivery Ghost Kitchen
The service works in conjunction with the student meal plan and Shocker dollars, as well as via credit card.
Users can download the Starship Deliveries app on their mobile device and get food delivered for a $2.49 fee quickly to any campus location. Users then choose from a range of their favorite food or drink items, then drop a pin where they want their delivery to be sent. They can then watch as the robot makes its journey to them, via an interactive map. Once the robot arrives, they receive an alert, and can then meet and unlock it through the app. The delivery usually takes just a matter of minutes, depending on the menu items ordered and the distance the robot must travel. Each robot can carry the equivalent of about three shopping bags of goods.
Wichita State University does not pay for the robots. Starship maintains ownership of the robots.
Starship is already providing services to campuses across the country, including University of Illinois Chicago, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Bowling Green State University. Since launch, all campuses have increased the number of robots, dining options and hours of operation to meet the high demand for the service.
“We’re pleased to announce Wichita State University as our newest university,” said Chris Neider, vice president of business development at Starship Technologies. “The university has a strong reputation as a research university and we think the campus community will enjoy learning about new technologies first-hand with our robots. Getting to regularly interact with our robots will not only show the convenience of autonomous delivery but will be a fun experience for all Shockers.”
Starship Technologies operates commercially on a daily basis around the world. Its zero-emission robots have made more than five million autonomous deliveries, traveled millions of miles and make more than 150,000 road crossings every day. The robots use a combination of sophisticated machine learning, artificial intelligence and sensors to travel on sidewalks and navigate around obstacles. The computer vision-based navigation helps the robots to map their environment to the nearest inch. The robots can cross streets, climb curbs, travel at night and operate in both rain and snow. A team of humans can also monitor their progress remotely and can take control at a moment’s notice.
About Wichita State University
Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling almost 22,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.
Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.
The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.