Robots are very close to reaching the point where they can start taking over our everyday jobs, and when that happens, fast food jobs will be among the first to be taken over. Domino’s proved as much on Friday when it announced its plan to start having robots deliver pizza to people. Known as the Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU), this four-wheeled autonomous robot can detect and avoid obstacles as it travels between Domino’s locations and nearby homes, and while it won’t be delivering pizzas anytime soon, it gives us a glimpse at what the very near future is going to look like.
The Domino’s crew in Australia has designed an autonomous robot that can navigate its way to your doorstep and deliver your pizza order. The four-wheeled Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU) prototype can detect and avoid obstacles as it travels on sidewalks to reach its destination. Separate storage compartments keep your pizzas hot and your drinks cold. DRU is the first major idea from Domino’s new innovation lab, which collaborated with Australian startup Marathon Robotics on the project. Domino’s says it’s tested DRU on several deliveries in semi-autonomous mode, with permits from the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. The company is still a while away from sending out DRU to tackle regular orders; it still has a number of legal requirements to fulfill before the robot can be pressed into service. Expect more autonomous bots pottering about your neighborhood soon. Last month, ex-Skype founder Ahti Heinla’s Starship Technologies announced that it was ready to begin testing its terrestrial delivery drone on the streets of London.