Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Pizza Delivery Guy Will Be a Robot at Many Campuses This Fall

Grubhub partners with Russian tech company to roll out food-delivering robots to U.S. colleges

By Georgi Kantchev of The WSJ

There are different types of unemployment (seasonal, frictional, structural and cyclical).

Structural-unemployment caused by a mismatch between the skills of job seekers and the requirements of available jobs.

One example of this is when you are replaced by a machine. Another example is when there is a fall in demand for your product, so you get laid off, like with typewriters since people now use computers. A third example is geographical, when the jobs are not in your region of the country.

Excerpts from the WSJ article:

"Delivery company Grubhub Inc. plans to roll out food-delivering robots across U.S. college campuses from this fall, as automation grows in a sector turbocharged by the pandemic.

Grubhub will deploy the suitcase-size rovers built by Russian tech company Yandex YNDX -0.16% NV to some of the 250 colleges across the U.S. that Grubhub already operates in, the companies said Tuesday. The six-wheeled autonomous rovers have been tested in recent years on the snowy streets of Moscow, delivering food, groceries and documents. Since April, the robots have also been delivering orders from local restaurants in Ann Arbor, Mich., as part of a trial."

"The use of robots and drones is aimed at cutting labor costs, one of the biggest hurdles on the path to making delivery profitable. Earlier this year, DoorDash Inc. DASH -1.18% acquired robotics startup Chowbotics, whose technology can whip up salads and poke bowls."

"San-Francisco-headquartered Starship Technologies Inc. has been expanding its U.S. college-campus delivery, while in Sacramento, Calif., Nuro LLC’s robots have been shuttling food, fresh linens and personal protective equipment during the pandemic."

"Grubhub said it expects the technology to deliver cost savings, both for the company and for consumers by charging a lower service fee than for a human delivery.

Yandex said its autonomous delivery robots, which have the capacity to carry as much as 44 pounds of goods, can navigate pavements, pedestrian areas and crosswalks slightly faster than the speed of an average pedestrian. After an order is placed, the rover makes its way to the restaurant, picks up the food and then delivers it to a specific location where the user unlocks its hatch through the Grubhub app."

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