They said there’d be robots. Instead, we got pizza delivery robots. Wait, that’s even better! Last night, Domino’s lifted the curtains on DRU; the world’s first commercial autonomous delivery vehicle. Boasting a a LIDAR sensory system developed in Australia, the robot is capable of delvering pizzas to your street completely unassisted. Here’s what pizza delivery will look like in the not-to-distant future.
DRU (short for “Domino’s Robotic Unit”) is an autonomous delivery vehicle built in collaboration with Marathon Robotics; an Australian technology startup that specialises in robotic targets for live-fire army training. It’s essentially a $30k military-grade robot refitted for pizza delivery — and it really works. While the rollout isn’t expected to happen for a couple of years, Domino’s has been testing the first prototype in the wild with success.
The technology behind DRU comes from military robots used by the army for live-fire target training. Capable of reaching speeds of up to 20 kilometres an hour, it uses a LIDAR sensory system to detect obstacles in its path and change its route accordingly. It measures objects and distance by illuminating an object with a laser light and can even speak to customers.
Our pals at Lifehacker were luckily enough to catch a glimpse of the prototype during its global unveiling — you can see how it dispenses pizzas in the above video. If you have any questions about the robot, head over to Lifehacker’s in-depth rundown!