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Gonzaga, Sodexo launch Kiwibot robot delivery

Gonzaga University is now one of the first institutions in the country to deploy robot delivery from Kiwibot for on-campus food delivery. The delivery robots are available through an agreement between food-service provider Sodexo and Kiwibot.

According to a press release, Gonzaga students, faculty and campus visitors can all place delivery orders through the Sodexo Bite for Universities app.

Kiwibots have already been deployed on the campuses of the University of Denver, University of California, Berkeley, and George Mason University.

Kiwibot delivery at Gonzaga is currently only available from one sandwich shop on campus, but the university’s Zag Dining, with Sodexo’s help, aims to expand the service throughout the coming year to include other Sodexo-run locations, including Starbucks.

“We are excited to explore technology through robotic delivery and how it might contribute to student success and enhance our community using this new innovation to provide access to food,” says Pat Clelland, resident district manager at Zag Dining by Sodexo.

The Kiwibots officially went live at Gonzaga on September 21, and the bots processed roughly 20 deliveries to students over the first day of operation alone.

The Kiwibots are semi-autonomous and follow pre-programmed routes mapped across the Gonzaga campus. The robots are equipped with a camera, which the robot driver can view and remotely intervene if needed. The bots are not yet programmed to enter buildings or elevators.

The Kiwibots have tracking devices, flags for visibility and sensors to activate the brakes if there are obstacles in their path. Food orders are stored inside the robot’s chassis, and only the user can open the compartment through the Bite for Universities app.

Average delivery time, according to Zag Dining, will run between 20 to 35 minutes, depending on the distance and if the order is placed during peak delivery times. Each delivery costs $2 plus 10% of the order value.

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