Just Eat could soon be sending robots to deliver your food

7 Jul 2016

The robot model used for Just Eat. Image via Starship Technologies

Takeaway delivWery service, Just Eat, is following in the footsteps of Dominos and other pizza delivery services after confirming it’s trialling a robot delivery service in London.

Just Eat, the ordering and delivery platform for takeaway food, has established itself as one of the biggest of its kind in 15 countries globally, and now it’s looking to plough some of the fruits of this success into R&D.

With Dominos having previously announced it was to create its own range of delivery robots, Just Eat is to follow suit with help from Starship Technologies, a company founded in 2014 by the co-founders of Skype.

Future Human

With help from the robotics company, Just Eat now has a small number of test robots capable of delivering food, packages and goods to consumers, but only within a relatively short radius of their order.

Once an order is placed on the app, a code will be sent to a customer’s mobile phone that will allow them to open up the robot’s hatch to get at whatever delightful food is hidden inside.

So far, the technology is continuing its trial in London – one of its busiest locations – with Starship Technologies revealing that these robots are designed to drive autonomously while being monitored by human operators in control centres who can take over at any time.

So far, Just Eat said, the robots have racked up more than 8,000km across cities in Europe and North America without any accidents and, given the proximity of London, it seems likely we will see it come to Ireland in the near future.

Commenting on the launch of the trial, Amanda Roche Kelly, managing director of Just Eat Ireland, said: “Over 70pc of customers now order via the app and on mobile devices.

“The launch of the new self-driving delivery robot trial in London exemplifies the fact that that the role of technology in helping Just Eat and the takeaway industry to innovate and grow has only just begun.”

Starship technologies

Just Eat pilots a Starship robot to deliver food from its takeaway restaurants in London. Image via John Phillips/Getty Images for Richard Mille

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic