Brandeis University has launched robot delivery from Kiwibot for students, faculty and staff on its Waltham, Mass. campus. Kiwibot's last-mile delivery service leverages semi-autonomous robots to drive students orders to designated delivery locations around campus.
According to a report from Wicked Local, Kiwibot will deliver food from a number of on-campus dining options, including Dunkin Donuts, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Mexican cantina Tres Habaneros, as well as some options that are exclusive to Kiwibot services.
One of the reasons behind Brandeis' deployment of robot delivery was the unexpected arrival of the pandemic, and a need to provide dining services beyond the normal options.
"We have seen over the pandemic, an increase of food delivery services on campus, and it's not unusual for those services to drive where they shouldn't. These are much more benign, much more campus friendly," said Lois Stanley, Brandeis vice president of Campus Planning and Operations, in a Wicked Local interview. "The pandemic taught us how important it is to have other options when it comes to dining and food delivery."
According to Brandeis University Dining Services, Kiwibot's robotic fleet is also supported by food-service provider Sodexo.
"This campus was the right fit, the high amount of retail, the size and scope of the campus. We are the first university in New England that has Kiwibots," said Mike Reilly, resident district manager for Sodexo.
As with other Kiwibot campus agreements, the Brandeis campus community can either pay a per-order fee, or sign up for one of Kiwibot's subscription plans:
The Kiwibot's delivery packages are optional and available for students, faculty, and staff to purchase. The delivery packages are non-transferrable, expire at the end of each semester, and leftover credits do not carry over.
To use the Kiwibot service, students open the Bite+ app on their smartphone, place an order from a participating vendor, and meet the robot at the chosen delivery location.
The average wait time for a delivery ranges from 20 to 35 minutes depending on distance and peak times. Students can use the Kiwibot service during all operating hours and operating areas on campus with no daily limit.