Domino’s Australia has turned a military robot into a pizza delivery droid.
DRU (Domino’s Robotic Unit), a prototype of what Domino’s says is the world’s first autonomous pizza delivery vehicle, was unveiled in Brisbane on Thursday night.
The fast food retailer built the droid with Australian start-up Marathon Robotics using a robot sourced from the military and its own technology, including Domino’s GPS tracking data.
DRU, which could spell the beginning of the end of the pizza delivery boy, has a sensory system that uses lasers to move around obstacles in its path to travel unassisted to a customer’s address.
The four-wheeled robotic unit travels up to speeds of 20km/h and is designed to cruise on footpaths, trails and bike paths.
When it reaches its destination, the customer enters a security code in their phone to tell the robot to open its locked storage compartment and deliver the pizza.
Domino’s says it all began in 2015 with a microchip and a big idea and finished with months of testing. Autonomous drones and cars still need to pass a number of regulatory hurdles and challenges before they’re delivering pizza on Australian streets.
Domino’s Group CEO Don Meij said in a statement he hoped the company would be able to work with the government and that their robot would be able to inform future regulation of automated delivery services and self-driving vehicles in Australia.
“With autonomous vehicles opening up possibilities for saving lives, saving time and moving goods more efficiently, we look forward to continuing our work in this field and leading the commercial trials.”