The well lit machine kadoodles along sidewalks, dodging pedestrians and other obstacles at up to 12 mph and is equipped with a warm compartment for pies and a cold section for soft drinks. No driver required!
The pizza delivery robot is another example of how rapidly smart machines are moving into the fast-food business. That’s not good news for low-skilled workers or anyone who needs a part-time gig to keep some cash coming in. The CEO of Carl’s Jr. Andy Puzder remarked last week, “If you’re making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive — this is not rocket science.” (Fast-food CEO says he’s investing in machines because he can’t afford to pay workers, Yahoo.com).
The demands of fast-food workers for $15/hour have accelerated the move toward automation. A relatively inexpensive bit of technology being introduced is the ordering kiosk, which is being introduced by McDonald's. Chevys and Chili's are beginning to use tablets stationed on tables to take orders. The cooking and assembly of the hamburger have also been mechanized.
Given the increasing rush to automation, it makes no sense to continue admitting millions of low-skilled immigrants and illegal aliens. If indeed nearly half of US jobs are susceptible to being taken by smart machines in less than 20 years as forecast by Oxford University researchers, then the number of immigrants should be ZERO.
Domino’s pizza self-driving delivery bots will soon roam Australia, Autoblog.com, March 18, 2016
Domino's Pizza is beating swords into plowshares in Australia by re-purposing military training robots into autonomous pizza delivery vehicles. On March 16, Domino's Pizza Australia introduced its newest employee to the pizza-loving public, a four-wheeled, self-driving robot called the Domino's Robotic Unit (DRU for short). Designed and built over the past year in collaboration with a military robot technology startup called Marathon Robotics, DRU is based on autonomous robots used for live fire training.
Small and sturdy, DRU is just under four feet tall, weighs a little over 400 pounds, and is built from steel, aluminum, and various high-impact plastics. It can travel at speeds up to 12 miles per hour on sidewalks and over smooth terrain, and with a full charge has a maximum range of about 12 miles. To find its way around, DRU uses a combination of onboard collision sensors, LIDAR, and a GPS system powered by Google Maps. For protection from drunks, college kids, and other ne'er-do-wells, DRU has a well-secured cargo hold and mounts a number of IP cameras that will stream constantly to the cloud to record any attempted vandalism or pizza-jacking.
To summon DRU and its precious cargo of delicious pizza, a customer simply places an order as usual, then using a phone app, completes their transaction when the robot arrives at their door. DRU is even programmed to make small talk while the customer fiddles with the order app, presumably in an effort to increase the amount of its tip.
Lifehacker published a video of the little robot, showing off the clever retractable cargo area that features both heated and cooled compartments to keep your pizza hot and your soda-pop and salads cold. To calm fears about being replaced (and then, obviously ultimately destroyed) by robots, Domino's Australia states that DRU is an addition to their workforce, not a replacement for real delivery drivers.
"I think drivers are going to be around for a long time," said Domino's CEO Don Meij. "Currently we have three types of deliveries: electric bike, motorbike, and car. DRU will simply be another member of the delivery team." Domino's Australia plans to roll out DRUs in limited markets over the next six months, with a tentative full rollout within two years.