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April 14, 2017 AT 12:30 am

Robots Delivering Grub is Now a Thing!! @roboweek #NationalRoboticsWeek #RoboWeek

Marble and Yelp Eat24 start robot food delivery in San Francisco TechCrunch

Just in time for #Roboweek Marble has teamed up with Yelp Eat24 to bring [semi] autonomous robot delivery to the streets of San Fransisco, shared from TechCrunch:

Users order as they normally would through the Yelp Eat24 site or app. They are asked if they’re cool with robot delivery. If they opt in, they get a pin code texted to their phone, which they can use to unlock the robot’s cargo bay when their Marble delivery arrives. After retrieving their food, they close the door and the robot returns to Marble HQ or another restaurant.

Matt Delaney, CEO and cofounder of the San Francisco startup said, “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.

Robopic2

The partnership with Marble is mostly experimental, he said. “People running restaurants are going to want to know, should I start using technologies like this as they come online? We need to have answers for them. We need to figure out what works.”

Yelp Eat24 is paying Marble just like it would any other delivery partner. So, Marble gets a per-delivery fee and any tips that people who order feel inclined to give them. It’s not likely that people will feel compelled to dole out tips to a robot, though.

For the time being, Marble is sending a human “chaperone” alongside each one of its delivery robots in San Francisco said Harrison Shih, Marble’s head of product. That’s partly to tell curious passersby all about their robots, but also to gather community feedback. Additionally, Marble robots are observed via monitors back at company headquarters.

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