Food delivery robots with cartoon faces on them seemed to have made the day of one Nanyang Technological University (NTU) student, who shared a clip of the roaming automatons on Reddit.
The video, uploaded by u/penguinoni on Monday (Nov 23), depicted the wheeled robots rolling about campus, with one stopping right in front of a canteen, presumably awaiting deployment.
The little rovers are, in fact, Singapore’s first outdoor delivery robots. Developed by a group of NTU students who manufacture and operate the robots under their startup Whizz, the droids are operated remotely to deliver food to hungry students across the campus for free.
They had a little human help, of course. Whizz personnel will first collect and sort the orders before putting them inside the rovers and sending them off on their merry way.
Right now, the food delivery robots only operate within NTU. Whizz collaborates with fellow student-led startup Wecome Cates, a food-delivery mobile app for those ordering from canteens and restaurants at the university’s Yunnan Campus.
According to Whizz, over 400 orders have been delivered by the robots since the service went into the beta testing phase back in July. As the deliveries are contactless, it's proven to be a safer method of food delivery during the Covid-19 period.