It’s the year 2016 CE here on Earth, and while there may not be people zipping around in jetpacks or flying cars, the utopian 21st century we were promised by television and films is not a forgotten cause. Case in point: Domino’s new autonomous pizza delivery robot. This slice of the future is bright, people!
This pizza delivery robot—is there any sweeter three-word string in the English language?—looks like a mix of R2D2 and Marvin from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy movie, and is named DRU (an acronym for Domino’s Robotic Unit).
DRU, which has been in development since 2015 and is Domino’s first real attempt at automating its international pizza delivery service, would make the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles proud, as it uses “a base unit sourced from the [Australian] military” combined with technology developed by Domino’s skunkworks division, DLab. Yes, even Domino’s has a tech-based skunkworks division.
Although DRU started as what appears to be a small microwave/tank with wheels and a “special”-looking Lite-Brite face, it’s evolved quickly, and already made its first delivery in New Zealand on March 8th.
As for the delivery stats, this little three-foot-high pizza bot can deliver cold bottles of soda, as well as up to 10 hot pizzas on a single mission. Customers recover their orders from DRU by inputting an order-specific code, and can receive deliveries from up to 12 miles away from a given Domino’s delivery center.
There is no word yet on how exactly Domino’s will keep DRU-bot safe from drunk partiers and pizza thieves, but considering it is in part a product of the military industry complex, it makes sense that they’d want to keep some of that tech sauce a secret.
What do you think about Domino’s new autonomous pizza delivery robot? Does it make you hungry for the future, or is this just a cheesy marketing gimmick? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
HT: Ars Technica
Images: Domino’s Pizza, Inc.