Yelp Eat24 is reportedly testing delivery via robot in a new partnership with Marble in select neighborhoods in San Francisco.
According to a report in TechCrunch, Marble’s delivery robots with Yelp Eat24 logos on them were spotted earlier in April, although the companies officially announced the robot delivery service Wednesday (April 12). The report noted Marble is one of a handful of startups that are creating ground-based robots that can navigate to consumers’ addresses on their own. With the robot service, users can order through the Yelp Eat24 website or app and are then asked if they want delivery by robot. If the customer opts in, they receive a pin code via text to their smartphone that they use to unlock the robot’s cargo and pay to get their food. The robot returns to Marble headquarters once the order is complete.
Matt Delaney, CEO and cofounder of the San Francisco startup said in the TechCrunch article, “We’re starting with meals but think our robots will be useful for everything from groceries to pharmacy and parcel delivery in the long run.”
Marble’s robots are designed to be “courteous in an urban setting,” Delaney added in report.
The move on the part of Yelp Eat24 comes at a time when other food companies are testing robots. In late March Domino’s Pizza announced it was teaming up with Starship Technologies, a U.K.-based company building a fleet of autonomous robots designed to deliver food and goods locally, to deliver Domino’s pizza within a 1-mile radius around Domino’s stores in select German and Dutch cities. In a press release announcing the new initiative, Don Meij, Domino’s Group CEO and managing director, said the partnership with Starship Technologies is an important next step in making robot deliveries a reality.
“Robotic delivery units will complement our existing delivery methods, including cars, scooters and eBikes, ensuring our customers can get the hottest, freshest-made pizza delivered directly to them, wherever they are,” said Meij. “With our growth plans over the next five to 10 years, we simply won’t have enough delivery drivers if we do not look to add to our fleet through initiatives such as this.”