Jacksonville State University has added robot delivery to its dining operations this fall through a partnership with Kiwibot and food-service provider, Sodexo. Jacksonville State joins a roster of campuses to deploy robot delivery from Kiwibot that includes New Mexico State University, Loyola Marymount University, Gonzaga University, and more.
According to an official university release, JSU is the first institution in the state of Alabama to deploy Kiwibot on campus. Partnering with the university's food service vendor, Sodexo, Kiwibot will deliver food from most on-campus dining facilities at JSU to 20 designated drop-off locations on campus.
Delivery service at JSU officially began Aug. 24, the first day of the fall semester. Orders can be placed for robot delivery Monday-Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
To get started, students must first download the Everyday App from the App Store or the Play Store.
Using Sodexo’s mobile application, Everyday, students can place an order with a participating restaurant and a Kiwibot will pick up the food and deliver it to a selected campus drop-off spot. Users will receive a unique link to track their order, enabling them to follow the robot’s progress along its route in real-time.
The Kiwibot delivery fee is $2 per order, though subscriptions are available. Users can purchase a subscription plan directly from the Everyday app, and choose from one of three options:
"Kiwibots will bring joy to everyone on campus," says John Tarin, head of global operations at Kiwibot. "This service allows students, faculty and staff to not only invest their time more productively, but also to merge into robotics. It is an exciting endeavor for Kiwibot to be part of the JSU community and to help students get closer to the world of technology, robotics and entrepreneurship."
To ensure safe operations, Kiwibot uses a semi-autonomous driving system to guide the robots. The robots create a virtual visualization of the world in real-time, using on-board sensors, reflective flags, night lights, and laser imaging, detection, and ranging (LiDAR).
Human supervisors are also on watch if a robot needs additional assistance, and an on-site team will be ready for immediate support.
"JSU Dining Services is proud to be the first Sodexo unit in Alabama to host Kiwibot," says Scott Williams, general manager for JSU Dining Services. “We look forward to growing our partnership and serving the 'Friendliest Campus in the South.'"