Pizza Delivery Goes Fully Robotic at George Mason University

A fleet of 25 six-wheeled, self-driving robots can be seen tooling around the campus, bearing pizzas, donuts and coffee.




These delivery robots can carry up to three pizzas and move around 4 m.p.h.

George Mason University

A fleet of robots are delivering the three main food groups—pizza, doughnuts and coffee—to students at George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia, possibly signaling a new era in foodservice automation.

Hospitality company Sodexo, which manages dining services at GMU and hundreds of other colleges and universities, has partnered with Starship Technologies in Redwood City, California, to offer the service to students, faculty and staff. Anyone on campus can use the Starships Delivery app to order food from Blaze Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks as well as on-campus grocery store called Second Stop. The service launched on January 22, and the university said more food options will be added over time.

Twenty-five robots are available to make deliveries from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. A delivery fee is added to each order. The robots resemble large beer coolers with six wheels. The self-driving mini-vehicles can hold up to three pizzas along with a few salads and drinks, with temperature-controlled compartments ensuring that the pizzas stay hot and the drinks stay cold.

They can tool around the campus at about 4 m.p.h., but they can’t enter buildings—customers have to meet them at the door. When a robot arrives, the customer uses its app to unlock the storage compartments and take their food. Delivery time is typically within 30 minutes.

“With a fleet of more than 25 robots at launch, this initiative is the largest implementation of autonomous robot food-delivery services on a university campus and is representative of Sodexo’s next-generation technology portfolio for the college and university market," Sodexo and Starship Technologies said in a joint press release.

The companies noted that the delivery service is provided as part of student meal plans.

“Being able to get food delivered to me within minutes is going to be fun and convenient,” GMU student Jenna Dayton said in the press release. “The lines can get long in between classes, and once you get a table at the library, you don’t want to give it up. Not only will this make my life easier as a student, but I’m going to get a visit from a robot!”

Food delivery services like DoorDash and Postmates have also been offering delivery via robot in several markets around the U.S., including Redwood City and San Francisco, California, and Washington, D.C.

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Bone Sauce Tops off Pizza in Costa Rica

Trench Marketer Rudy Waldner visits the Culinary Trainer School in Costa Rica to share his secrets and take home one of theirs.

Papa John's Will Pay For Employees to Attend College Online

The pizza chain will cover 100 percent of tuition at Purdue University Global for 20,000 corporate employees.

Pizza Guys Pair Two Types of Pepperoni In One Pie

The Cup N' Crisp Pepperoni Duo features classic pepperoni and cup-and-char styles.

Mountain Mike's Redefines Pizza Delivery Model With New Partnerships

The West Coast pizza chain will offer delivery through DoorDash, UberEats and GrubHub.

Blaze Pizza Expands Delivery Option and Sets Sights on IPO

The fast-casual chain plans to take on larger players like Domino's and Pizza Hut.

Alfonso Monaco Takes First at the 4th Pizza d’Autores

Pizza topped with regional Italian ingredients takes first among 18 competitors in Málaga.

Louisville Rock Band Has a New Jam Called Lupo Pizza

The founding members of Murder By Death have become renowned for their Neapolitan-style pizzas.

Grain Craft Supports Wheat Quality Research

A gift to the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation will be directed toward improving wheat quality and yield through proper fertility management.

Aldi Stores Want to Pour Some Gouda on You

That's just one of the chain's six new specialty cheeses named after classic 80s pop songs.

Researcher Uncovers Evidence of a Forgotten American Pizza Pioneer

If Peter Regas is correct about New York baker Filippo Milone, Lombardi's might not have been the first pizzeria in the U.S.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags