BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The newest additions to California State University, Bakersfield are making food delivery much easier around campus.
Ten new robots are offering delivery services through GrubHub — taking meals from the Runner Café, Panda Express and Which Wich to any point inside the university. This idea was brought to the table by Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Thomas Wallace.
“(Dr. Wallace) had been to Ole Miss, and he was sharing with me watching all these robots,” said Wayne Narine, Director of Campus Partners. “And I remember saying, ‘You know, I’ve seen these robots,’ and I thought, we’ve got to have that here.”
Now, they’re a new and fun sight for students on campus.
“It made me think about a class — we were talking about AI. I said, ‘Wow, these are little robots,” said Bryan Blair, student at CSUB. “And then when I actually saw them in the flesh, live, I was like wow, they’re here. Pretty crazy. It’s cool.”
Now, after running for more than two weeks, students have welcomed the robots with open arms. Willoe Leon, another student, calls it a game changer.
“I also work, so, honestly, with work and then walking around, people sometimes don’t understand that you’re just drained from your classes, and having to sit through a three-hour lecture,” said Leon. “Sometimes you just don’t feel like walking, but you need food.”
The robots are programmed with mapping, and know which ways to take, how to avoid grass areas and how to not go outside of campus. As for your meal, it is nicely secured.
“Once the order comes up, the iPad will tell us what robot number is designated for that order,” said Owen Smith, Food Service Director at Aramark, a food provider for CSUB. “Once it arrives there, it will send them a text message saying that their delivery has arrived. Once they go over to the robot, they have to press on their phone that they’re ready to pick up the delivery, and that unlocks the robot for them to open it up.”
The delivery robots could be having names very soon, but only nine of them — one of them will be reserved for Dr. Wallace.
The university hopes to continue adding restaurants to their robot delivery services.