The Future

Domino’s Is Testing the World’s First Pizza-Delivery Robot

Ready for the open road.
Ready for the open road.

Bored with lording its fleet of delivery cars with ovens over rivals, Domino’s is adding a full-on autonomous robot named DRU to its delivery fleet. DRU — short for Domino’s Robotic Unit — was unveiled Thursday in Brisbane, Australia, and it (he?) is a prototype of what the chain says is the world’s first robotic pizza guy. DRU is apparently military-grade and was outfitted with delivery bells and whistles by an Australian robotics company that usually specializes in “targets for live-fire army training” (how reassuring!). Like all Domino’s robots these days, it has LED eyes and looks related to EVE, the egg-shaped love interest from WALL·E. It cracks jokes about dating famous TV robots and reportedly navigates sidewalks, bike lanes, bridges, and even “trails” at a speed of up to 12 miles per hour, using a laser to maneuver around obstacles in its path sort of like a glorified Roomba. Orders are tucked into internal storage compartments that can be either heated or cooled, then opened with a code sent to customers’ phones.

DRU will pop up in Australian Domino’s stores within the next six months, and should be delivering pies by 2018. Asked if drunk people won’t just steal all the pizzas, the head of Domino’s Australia basically said yes, that’s going to happen, but this thing is the work of a company that makes machines for combat training, so what can be done?

[Guardian, Lifehacker AU]

Domino’s Tests First Pizza Delivery Robot