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Posted on: November 8, 2021

PRESS RELEASE: Food Delivery Robots in Brookings - Serving SDSU

2021 - 11-08 News Flash Graphics - Starship Robots

Brookings residents,

As you are in the campus area you may see something new in town. SDSU has partnered with Starship Technologies to provide food delivery service via robots.

Please be aware robots will be crossing City streets, climbing curbs and traveling on sidewalks. The robots are designed not to obstruct traffic flow. More information about the robots is included in the press release below.

NOTE: We are sharing the following press release on behalf of South Dakota State University and Starship Technologies.
For more information please contact South Dakota State University or Starship Technologies.


PRESS RELEASE:

Residents of Brookings will soon be getting a glimpse of the future, thanks to South Dakota State University and Starship Technologies. Beginning today, SDSU students will be able to order delivery from several on-campus eateries, with orders delivered by Starship’s fleet of 30 autonomous robots. 

SDSU is the first university campus in the state of South Dakota to implement robot food delivery service. While robot deliveries may seem futuristic, Starship has already completed more than two million commercial deliveries across five different countries. At SDSU, the robots will make on-demand deliveries from three campus eateries - Grille Works, Papa Johns and Starbucks - with additional locations added soon. 

The small, six-wheeled robots are designed to travel on sidewalks but they are also able to cross streets, climb curbs, deliver day and night and in a variety of weather conditions, including rain and snow. The robots can do all of this on their own, using a variety of technologies such as radars, sensors and cameras, and are remotely monitored so a human operator can take over during a difficult road crossing or if the robots encounter something unexpected such as construction.

The robots travel at an average speed of 4MPH and each robot can carry up to 20 lbs - the equivalent of about three shopping bags of goods.

The delivery area will span from 9th Avenue to Jackrabbit Avenue and 7th Street to 18th Street. 

Brookings residents may see the robots on city streets and in crosswalks as they make their deliveries. The robots are designed to detect objects in their path, from humans to dogs to vehicles. Drivers approaching a robot on a curb or in a crosswalk should approach slowly and be prepared to stop, similar to what would happen if they encounter humans or pets. 

“The one thing we have learned in recent years is that students and faculty like flexibility in their dining options,” said Doug Wermedal, associate vice president for student affairs at SDSU. “The ability to have something delivered to various locations throughout campus and the community will be impactful to our students and employees as they continue to manage busy and demanding schedules. We are excited about this partnership, the robotics technology and the student employment opportunities Starship will bring to our campus.”

“We’re excited to make our South Dakota debut at SDSU,” said Ryan Tuohy, SVP of Business Development and Sales at Starship Technologies. “The winters can be tough here so we know the students, faculty and staff will appreciate the robots delivering their food and drink orders. We look forward to providing this convenient service and becoming a part of the campus community.”

Starship Technologies operates commercially on a daily basis around the world. Its zero-emission robots have made more than 2 million autonomous deliveries, travelled millions of miles and make more than 90,000 road crossings every day. 

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