Starship Technologies, provider of autonomous delivery services, will begin delivery services to four additional U.S. college campuses, growing its fleet to over 1,000 robots.
University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), University of Kentucky (UK), University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, Florida, all become the first in their respective states to offer an autonomous on-demand robot delivery service to their campus communities.
The service has already started with an initial set of merchants and hours at UNR, where 20 robots will be deployed. At Embry-Riddle, the fleet of 20 robots will be fully operational when students return for classes.
“We see the Starship robots as an important part of safely bringing students back to campus,” said Dean Kennedy, executive director of residential life, housing and food services at University of Nevada, Reno.
“Everyone wants to resume in-person classes and be back on campus so we’re doing everything we can to make sure it’s done responsibly. The robots offer several advantages – they make social distancing easier, they are convenient, the students we have spoken with love this idea and they continue our heritage of being an innovative campus.”
Additionally, services will begin in Kentucky on 16 August and the 20 robots will become fully operational when classes begin a week later. Service is expected to begin at UIC this autumn, with a fleet of 25 robots serving 11 merchants.
Alastair Westgarth, CEO of Starship Technologies, added: “We’ve worked hard to become a trusted and integrated partner on our campus communities and that hard work has paid off. We are continuing to add new schools every semester, with more to be announced this fall.
“The students love the robots and the schools appreciate the ability to offer this service. We can’t wait to meet the students at each of these schools and look forward to hiring students on all of the campuses to give them real world experience working with robots and AI.”
Starship’s delivery robots began service at George Mason University in Virginia in January 2019. The company said popularity has continued to increase with its service now available across nearly 20 different campuses in 15 states.