Robots are now roaming the Statesboro campus

During a time of face masks and social distancing, there is one question everyone has: "How will we eat?"

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Credit: Georgia Southern University

Arria McGinty, Reporter

Starting August 10, with the help of Starship Technologies and through the efforts of Information Technology Services (ITS), Auxiliary Services, and Eagle Dining Services, Georgia Southern’s Statesboro campus will see new companions around campus: small six-wheeled robots for food delivery.

These robots allow for contactless food delivery, lowering the risk for the spread of Covid-19. ITS’ Clint Bridges was very invested in the project, and wants to bring, “A sense of enhanced safety and convenience to our students,”

“The fact that students can order a meal from their residence hall room and have it delivered by an automated delivery vehicle keeps them close to home where they can feel the most at ease and still enjoy a meal from one of our dining locations on campus,” said Bridges.

With mapping routes of the campus and an ability to run efficiently while avoiding obstacles, 20 autonomous food deliverers are at the disposal of GSU staff and students. With these robots, Georgia Southern becomes the first university in the state to have this service.

“Eagle Dining Services is excited to offer our students a new means of service with innovative technology,” said Jeff Yawn, executive director of Eagle Dining Services. “These robots allow us to serve more areas of campus, safely and securely in these unprecedented times.”

The Starship app is necessary to order, track and unlock the robot with the recipient’s meal. Once a delivery is placed, it takes around 30 minutes for the robot to arrive to the chosen outside location, as the robot cannot enter buildings or climb stairs.