When hunger strikes, it's time to gorge. But grocery stores are just depressing buildings laced with affordable snacks and vaulted condoms, and Chipotle is, well, Chipotle. So what's the move? In the future, you can probably just call up one of these robotic food runners.
The adorable little robot is reportedly a Yelp/Eat24 "delivery robot," according to TechCrunch's Ryan Lawler. Lawler spotted the robot "cruising around" San Francisco's Mission District Friday. The robot, which didn't appear to be running any food at the time, had photographers on its trail and was seemingly being controlled via remote by a woman following close behind. Reached by Complex Monday afternoon, a Yelp representative declined to comment.
Given the Marble tag on the back of the unit, the robot likely comes from the San Francisco-based outfit of the same name. But Marble is far from alone in the market of food-delivering robots, as revealed in a Washington Post report earlier this month:
Estonia-based robotics company Starship Technologies have also been testing "robot couriers" over the past few weeks. Starship's goal, according to head of operations Nick Handrick, was to come up with a device that human beings were "actually comfortable" using. "So part of the design decision is to make it something that people find endearing," Handrick told the Post.
Though the Starship device doesn't have a name yet, the company is currently looking for "something with a little personality." The nameless Starship robot tops out at a blistering four miles per hour and is equipped with nine guiding cameras. By the end of 2017, Handrick hopes their robots will be capable of traveling without the assistance of human guides. Starship also hopes to get delivery fees down to as low as a buck per order.