KiwiBots are strolling the halls at the University of California Berkeley, according to Berkeley News. When founder of the robot food-delivery company, Felipe Chavez, visited Berkeley, he knew his food savvy robot would be perfect for the mix of engineers and hungry college students.
“For me it is the best place to start a food delivery company,” the 28-year-old told Berkeley News. “We have very good talent, EECS students are very good, (and) you also have a very good gastronomic scene.”
Now, Kiwi has delivered its 10,000th meal, and they plan to stay in Berkeley.
“Kiwi was born in in Berkeley,” Chavez said. “We actually created the first prototype in the MLK Student Union.”
The robots are cooler-sized, and bring students, staff and faculty orders from places such as Jamba Juice and Chipotle. The robots travel in residence halls and over bumpy sidewalks, charging a $3.80 delivery fee.
“We started with one robot going from the restaurant to the customer’s house, and we found out pretty fast that that was pretty inefficient,” Chavez said. “So we created a multi-modal system.”
Now, three different robots provide the food from the restaurant in a semi-autonomous tricycle that carries four smaller KiwiBot robots, each containing five meals.
“With the trikes … we pick up dozens of meals from restaurants, and then we load the robots and the robots deliver the last 200 meters,” he said.
Diners and people ordering use an app to greet and open the KiwiBot when it arrives. On average, a delivery takes 27 minutes.
Chavez plans to expand to Los Angeles, Palo Alto and San Jose by the end of 2018.