PepsiCo on Thursday unveiled its snacks delivery robots at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.
The snack-carrying robots, also known as snackbots, will be delivering snacks and beverages to students who ordered for the service using the snackbots app. The snackbots will be getting supplies from PepsiCo’s Hello Goodness portfolio – the company’s vending brand it created in 2015, where they are loaded with wide range of choices like Baked Lays, Smartfood Delight popcorn, Starbucks Cold Brew drinks, and Leaf Tea.
Students use the snackbot app only available on iOS for now, to place their orders which can only be delivered to selected locations during normal business hours of 9 am to 5 pm. The students open the snackbot’s green lip and grab their others once they meet the robot.
The six-wheeled PepsiCo robots are designed by San Francisco Bay Area startup Robby Technologies. Equipped with headlamps and built-in cameras to navigate through hills and potential inclement conditions, the all-wheel-drive snackbots can run for 20 miles on a single charge, which is enough to supply all the needs of the 175-acre campus students and staffers.
PepsiCo said it’s the first time a major food and beverage company on the market has rolled out robots to deliver snacks and drinks in this way. However, the snackbots are almost like the other delivering robots we have seen before now.
Kiwi introduced a similar service at the University of California, Berkeley last year. And the university students adored the robots a lot that they held a candlelight vigil for one of the robo-couriers that caught fire due to a battery problem.
However, this method of product delivery has in the past been questioned in some cities. While some states welcome delivery robots for items like grocery, others are yet to offer their stand. There is no question about having self-driving vehicles deliver most services, including pizzas, in the future. But this will be determined by the success of these college students get their cookies without too much trouble or public complaints.
PepsiCo’s snackbot app is available on iOS and can only be accessed with a valid University of the Pacific email address.