Delivery Robots Roll onto More University Campuses

Starship Technologies and Sodexo launch robot food delivery at Northern Arizona University.

March 27, 2019

GAITHERSBURG, Md. –  It’s something your mom always told you – eat your breakfast – and now college students are starting to do just that, thanks to Starship robots and Sodexo. Research has shown that up to 88% of college students skip breakfast, primarily because of lack of time, but that number is starting to turn around when delivery robots arrive on campus. Starting this week, students at Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) Flagstaff campus will have the convenience of receiving food delivered by robot.

Sodexo Inc. and Starship Technologies revealed that an extra 1,500 breakfast orders have been delivered autonomously since the two companies joined forces to debut the Starship delivery robots on the George Mason University (GMU) campus in January. This follows a similar pattern seen at corporate campuses where delivery robots were added.

To help celebrate the launch of a fleet of more than 30 robots on campus and raise awareness of the breakfast offerings, the companies are partnering with Einstein Bros. Bagels and offering free breakfast for the remainder of the academic year to the NAU student who places the first order via the Starship app. The school’s nearly 25,000 students and faculty can now use the Starship app to order food and drinks from local retailers to be delivered anywhere on campus, within minutes. Each on-demand delivery costs just $1.99 and also works in conjunction with the student meal plan. Other participating retailers include national chains Star Ginger, as well as on-campus restaurants Cobrizo Mexican Grill, Turnip the Greens, G’s New York Style Deli and The Wedge Market and Pizza.

This also marks one of the first times that sidewalk delivery robots are operating in Arizona. The state is 1 of 7 that have approved the operation of delivery robots. Sodexo and Starship plan to continue to expand the program to additional campus locations globally in the future.

“We’ve been very pleased with how quickly Starship has been embraced on college campuses,” said Ryan Tuohy, senior vice president of business development for Starship Technologies, in a press release. “These campuses are hubs of innovation and activity, with both students and faculty needing convenient and flexible services.”