If you work in Silicon Valley, you're used to certain kinds of perks — and now people can add robot lunch deliveries to that list.
Starship Technologies is deploying six robots to start bringing breakfast, lunch and dinner to employees at Intuit, the financial software company, based in Mountain View, CA. The service has already been in testing for some time.
Delivery services are certainly not new. Our grandparents may have had milk delivered to their doors, while lunch carts pushed through corporate buildings brought sandwiches and cookies right to your desk. But a robot dropping off your bagel and schmear is likely a new experience for most of us.
Starship's robots are not anthropomorphic — in other words, they don't look like the people behind the counter at your local café. Instead, these six-wheeled robots appear more like rolling foot rests, with tops that open up to hold whatever delicacy you've ordered.
Companies are very focused on tapping into existing technologies — be it drones or robots — to make deliveries. Amazon nabbed a patent for drones that would self-destruct after making a delivery, and Alphabet, Google's parent company, was dropping off burritos by drone through its Project Wing program in Australia.
At Intuit, people place their orders, and then arrange to meet the robots at a location they select in the app. Think of this as meeting a ride-sharing service where you dropped your pin, but instead of a lift you're getting your lunch.
How cold that pizza may be once it gets to you, or whether the sour cream will still be cool on top of the taquitos, is unknown, but certainly robot deliveries make it that much easier to stay inside, head down, and focused on work — meaning you never have to leave the office again.