December 2, 2022

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Food delivery robots debut at University of Idaho

The 15-robot fleet, known as Starship, will deliver food from several Idaho Eats locations to students on the Moscow campus.

MOSCOW, Idaho — The University of Idaho has introduced a new fleet of autonomous food delivery robots on the Moscow campus.

The 15-robot fleet, known as Starship, will deliver food from several Idaho Eats locations, including Qdoba, True Burger, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and Cravings by Joe, to students at the University of Idaho (U of I) campus.

“We’re excited to bring this service to a wide array of our dining options,” said Cami McClure, assistant vice president for Auxiliary Services. “The university community is eager for on-campus dining delivery and now, with Starship Technologies, we are able to offer a fun, fast and friendly way to deliver.”

U of I is the first university in Idaho to introduce robot food delivery services. Both students and employees can use the Starship Food Delivery app to order food and drinks for delivery anywhere on campus.

The delivery service works in conjunction with Idaho Eats meal plans, allowing students to pay using their Dining Dollars.  

Users can watch the robot’s real-time journey on an interactive map through the app. Once the robot arrives, users will receive a notification to meet the robot and unlock their purchase using the app.

Depending on the menu items ordered and the distance from the location, the delivery usually takes a matter of minutes. The robots are able to carry the equivalent amount of about three shopping bags of groceries.

Starship provides services to several campuses across the country, including the University of Texas at Dallas, University of Houston, University of Nevada, Reno, and Bowling Green State University.  

“We are very pleased to expand our services to Idaho,” said Ryan Tuohy, senior vice president of Business Development and Sales at Starship Technologies. “We think the entire campus community will love seeing the robots roaming around campus and appreciate the convenience of on-demand deliveries, whether that means skipping long lines, sleeping in, or getting deliveries for late-night studies.”

Starship plans to hire students to work with the Starship fleet. 

“We’re thrilled to be the first to welcome the Starship robots to Idaho and the Vandal community,” said Mo Alhabashneh, Idaho Eats resident district manager. “This innovative technology will enhance our level of service and make our dining options readily available to all Vandals wherever they find themselves on campus.”

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