Tech Company Deploys Delivery Robots Amid Worker Shortages

Tech Companies Deploy Delivery Robots Amid Worker Shortages

( – It’s no secret the country is currently in the midst of a labor shortage. Whether the deficit is due to people not wanting to work or demands for higher wages, the bottom line is everyone’s suffering because of it. A solution may not be quickly coming, but technology may ease some of the issues.

A tech company is currently testing robotic food delivery. Could this be the future of delivery services?

The Pandemic Effect

The food delivery industry saw excessive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people staying home, delivery services were the go-to option for eating out, and humans haven’t been able to keep up with the demand due to labor shortages.

Tech companies, such as Starship Technologies, were already working on robot food delivery options, but an increase in need during the pandemic made them step up their efforts. They are currently ramping up testing.

A Robot Delivering Your Dinner

These knee-high guys are already making drop-offs on college campuses in the United States and United Kingdom, and in some areas, they’re delivering within cities. Starship has over 1,000 devices ready to go and will soon release hundreds more. The company currently services 20 US colleges and will add 25 more. They also deliver to homes in Modesto, California, Milton Keynes, England and Tallinn, Estonia, which is the home base for the company.

How It Works

The robots from various companies don’t look the same. They may have varying numbers of wheels and different designs, but the general operation is similar. The devices use sensors and GPS to help them navigate. They may have scanners to help them travel on sidewalks and streets.

While they do not move fast, they are efficient. A handler watches over them to correct any issues or assist in an emergency, but they often don’t have to do anything. There’s no concern about food tampering, either, because the food is in a locked box. Once the robot reaches its destination, the customer enters a code on a panel that opens the lid.

It may be some time before a robot starts delivering to your home, as they have limitations due to frequent charging requirements and their slow 5 MPH speed. They also cannot adapt to special requests, such as leaving the food outside your door, and in busy areas, they have trouble navigating the crowds.

Despite these obstacles, the technology continues to advance. Could that mean the days of traditional human deliveries will eventually come to an end in the food industry?

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