US – American multinational pizza restaurant chain Domino’s has launched an autonomous pizza delivery service in the US city of Houston, allowing customers to experience futuristic delivery services handled by robots.

Domino’s is collaborating with robotics company Nuro which will provide the robot and oversee the logistics behind the success of the autonomous delivery service.

“We’re excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino’s customers in Houston. We can’t wait to see what they think,” said  Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president,

According to Domino’s, the robot to be used in pizza delivery  is the first completely autonomous, occupant-free on-road delivery vehicle with regulatory approval from the US Department of Transportation.

The food service restaurant said that starting this week customers who place a prepaid website order from the Domino’s in Woodland Heights will be able to choose to have their pizza delivered by Nuro’s R2 robot.

Once an order has been made, the customers will be able to track R2’s progress via GPS on their order confirmation page. They will also receive text alerts updating them on R2’s location and providing them with a unique PIN to retrieve their order.

Once the robot arrives, customers will be prompted to enter their PIN on R2’s touchscreen in order to open the bot’s doors and access their order.

“We’re excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino’s customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston,” said Dennis Maloney, Domino’s senior vice president and chief innovation officer.

“There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations.”

Domino’s is however not the first company in the food industry to trial autonomous delivery service. In Singapore, a home grown technology company known as OTSAW Digital has been using robots  in delivering groceries in one part of the city state.

The robots, which are equipped with 3D sensors, a camera and two compartments each are able to carry up to 20 kg (44 lb) of food or parcels ordered online, make four or five deliveries per day on weekdays and are on call for half day on Saturday.

Named Camello, the robots are reported to have successfully delivered groceries to 700 households in a one-year trial.

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