Technology Taking a Step Forward with Food-Delivering Robots

One of the DoorDash robots making a food delivery.

Photo Courtesy of Starship Technologies

One of the DoorDash robots making a food delivery.

Alyssa Pepito, Photojournalist

Back in the 2000s and even before that, a lunch for a student would be something bought from the school lunch line or even something that your parent/guardian made you in the morning; however, nowadays students have been ordering food for lunch through apps called DoorDash, Postmates, UberEats, Grubhub, etc. Specifically, DoorDash, being one of the more famous of the delivery apps around Yorba Linda High School, is coming up with the idea of having a robot deliver food for everyone from all areas in Southern California. It is following an extensive trial period for now, but will soon be out and about soon.

Being a quite widely known company, DoorDash has decided to take a step up and send out robots to deliver the food for customers. They will send out a small fleet of six-wheeled delivery robots and these test runs will happen in Redwood City, California. The robots were made by the Company called Starship Technologies (Fortune). These robots are observed to be the approximate size of a golden retriever and will be able to roll around on sidewalks smoothly and carefully.

In order to actually have food delivered to someone by a robot, one has to be in a one to two mile proximity of the restaurant it’s coming from and the destination the robot needs to reach. Basically, they will only be used for short distance orders only. Hopefully, in the future, the robots will be able to cover longer distances for orders that are further away. Katrina Wynn (10) believes that DoorDash is an interesting company and this new addition “shows the future of technology and where it can take us.”

It is true, there are slight downsides to this release such as how the ones who are already employed may have their job handed to a robot. Then, the delivery person will no longer be needed. On the other hand, it may benefit some flaws already present in the delivering business. Besides, the robots will most likely act as coworkers to the human couriers rather than a complete replacement to them. DoorDash cofounder and chief product officer, Stanley Tang explains how the company sees the robots as “a complement, not replacement” (Buzzfeed News). The robots are there to take care of short distance orders as they are more suited to it and this will leave the “Dashers,” as the DoorDash workers are called, to cover for the more complex and long distance deliveries.

DoorDash has hopes to expand this robot plan to other places in the US. The partnership company, Starship Technologies, is currently working with Postmates to try and expand with the same idea of bringing robots into the picture. Sooner or later, more on-demand delivery companies will include helpful robots which could help for better delivery for the future.