Kiwibot, a robotic last-mile delivery service, has partnered with Sodexo, a food services and facilities management business, to grow its robotic fleet in order to “advance the future of smart university campuses.”

Kiwibot is a last-mile delivery business that delivers over 150,000 food products using an electric semi-autonomous robot. Official expansions to San Jose, Miami-Dade County, Pittsburgh, and Detroit were announced yesterday. Each of the four communities will receive up to ten robots under the supervision of one human.

The two firms will make robot deliveries available at three campuses in the United States starting in August:

  • University of New Mexico;
  • California’s Loyola Marymount University; and
  • Gonzaga University is located in Washington.

Kiwibot claims to provide businesses with comprehensive remote and in-field customer assistance, as well as integrating with any point-of-sale system to deliver food goods via “powerful, cute-looking robots.”

As a result, Kiwibot and Sodexo foresee a subscription program in which anyone at a Sodexo-served area may acquire any items that can fit inside a robot and are on a university campus.

College students at the three universities listed will be able to utilize their meal plans to order Kiwibot delivery through their local delivery app Bite+.

Anyone with access to the app, however, may make use of the service, which costs $2 for each delivery plus 10% of the order quantity.

Sodexo’s continuing commitment to implementing safe, convenient foodservice solutions that continue to amaze and excite consumers will assist the implementation.

Sodexo employs 420,000 people worldwide and serves more than 100 million clients in 64 countries.

Kiwibot was established in 2017 and rose to prominence following a successful pilot at the University of California-Berkeley.

Kiwibot expanded to San Jose, Santa Monica, Denver, Dallas, Taipei, and Medellin with a new B2B business model and partners after completing over 150,000 deliveries in Berkeley with product development and testing for the B2C model.

“Our success comes from amazing customers like Sodexo who are prepared to challenge the existing quo,” says Felipe Chávez Cortés, CEO and co-founder of Kiwibot.

“This is only the beginning of our offerings to college students to try out the newest in robotic food delivery and give colleges across the United States with the smart campus of the future.”

Aurelia Valot, the VP of digital transformation and innovation, Sodexo, says: “We are excited to grow our robot food delivery service with Kiwibot and provide customers with a safe, convenient, contactless, and innovative solution.

How does Kiwibot work properly?

Kiwibot uses electric semi-autonomous robots to distribute meals. They resemble adorable lunchboxes on wheels, complete with a witty little flag. (Now that I think about it, they’re probably lunchboxes on wheels.) Since its inception in 2017, Kiwibot has developed 400 robots, which will be deployed on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, and in San Jose in 2020. It has also been operating pilot projects in the four cities mentioned above.

Kiwibots use a locking door to keep their cargo safe. At the restaurant, the robots open the Inner Container Door without human assistance. The food is subsequently placed inside the container by the restaurant personnel. The robot automatically shuts and locks the door after the food is secured inside.

When the Kiwibot arrives at its delivery address, it sends an app notice instructing the recipient to “unlock the door.” The client removes their meal as the door automatically opens. The robot’s door then closes and locks autonomously.

Kiwibot charges $2 for each delivery, which businesses can choose to absorb or pass on to customers.

Is there a greater goal for Kiwibot?

Yes. The firm is connected to the John S. and James L. Night Foundation, which launched an autonomous driving program in 2018.

Kiwibot and the Knight Foundation have been collaborating to help local companies grow. They also aim to make food, medicine, and other necessities more accessible to everybody.

Kiwibot and the Knight Foundation also want to make sure that robots are positioned in places where they can safely navigate between people, bicycles, and cars.

What does Kiwibot mean by semi-autonomous?

When Kiwibot began its trial in San Jose in July 2020, TechCrunch explained:

‘’The delivery bots are outfitted with a camera that allows them to identify and navigate around obstacles. In other circumstances, however, the bots are backed and directed remotely by humans, who can monitor up to three robots remotely. These teleoperators or supervisors as Kiwibot refers to them, assist with path planning, which is the process of determining and changing waypoints along a route. When difficulties develop, they can also intervene and take direct control of the bot.

According to the firm, the supervisors, many of whom are from Colombia, where [CEO Felipe] Chavez and his cofounder Sergio Pachón come from, control the bot at all traffic crossings.’’

What is the range of the robot and how do you charge it?

They can run for at least 10 hours and cover lengths of up to 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) in that time. They are entirely electric and charge in 4 hours. They use a 120v outlet to charge.

Does the robot look cute and do anything other than deliver the burrito?

Yes. To map regions and gather sidewalk and infrastructure data, use the Mobility Data Specification (MDS) architecture and automated data collecting tools.

Furthermore, Kiwibot’s robots will eventually exchange data with local officials on sidewalk conditions and car and pedestrian traffic, assisting cities in becoming more accessible and safe.

How can I find out that the robot is actually working?

Kiwibot’s robots have already driven 1,455 miles, mapped 368 kilometers, and supplied 20,000 data points for municipal and county officials in the four locations since June 2021.

It’s designed for electric cars. These robots are powered by electricity. And the Kiwibot deployment of these tiny fellas has been excellent thus far.

Last-mile delivery has increased dramatically as a result of the epidemic. We’re all for robots if they can work on streets that can handle them and get gas vehicles off the road to cut pollution, congestion, and traffic. They are a last-mile electric option.

Furthermore, because the United States is on the cusp of a massive infrastructure makeover, collecting data and deploying more effective roadway enhancements is beneficial. You receive your burrito, learn about the issues that your city is facing, and everyone wins.