If data science can be used to craft a brand-new beer, why shouldn't an autonomous robot deliver the accompanying pizza? That, in fact, is exactly the premise behind a new initiative from Domino's.
Australia-based Domino's Pizza Enterprises has created an autonomous delivery vehicle named Domino’s Robotic Unit, or DRU, and begun limited testing on restricted streets in Queensland.
The device, announced Thursday, is a four-wheeled vehicle with compartments built to keep the customer’s food hot and drinks cold. A "friendly persona" aims to help customers identify and interact with it.
DRU can now navigate from a starting point to its destination, selecting the best path of travel. Its on-board sensors enable it to perceive and avoid obstacles along the way, Domino's said.
DRU is powered by technology from Australian startup Marathon Robotics. Domino’s has also been working with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads to ensure that the delivery droid concept meets relevant regulations as it is tested.
It's not yet clear when a full rollout will happen. Domino's could not immediately be reached for more details.