PepsiCo robots deliver snacks to college students

PepsiCo robots deliver snacks to college students

You’re hungry, you’re parched, you’re terrified of the outside world, and the prospect of moving off of your bean bag is a true impossibility. What is there to do? For some college students, you order from a snack delivery robot, of course!

Ladies and gents, meet the Snackbot. 

On Thursday, PepsiCo announced that is is rolling out a fleet of R2D2-lookin’ robots at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. — to deliver snacks directly to hungry co-eds. 

The robots are basically cute vending machines that can roll around campus on their own. They look a lot like a cooler on wheels, and students can order the robots to deliver snacks to them from PepsiCo’s Hello Goodness line via an app. The university is apparently “thrilled” to have them, according to its director of e-commerce Matt Camino.

A Y-Combinator company called Robby Technologies makes the robots, and PepsiCo outfits the rolling pods with snacks like Baked Lays, Sun Chips, and Starbucks Cold Brew. These are part of what PepsiCo calls its “better-for-you snacking” options.

TBH where do we start with this? It is a pretty fun gimmick, for sure, and one that college students will probably use a few times to many lols.

But the snacks aren’t exactly healthy. C’mon! Sun Chips?! And on a busy campus filled with bikers, skateboarders, and students hustling to get to class, I cannot imagine what kind of havoc a lil’ thigh-high robot roadblock would introduce to the mix.

I’ve reached out to the University of the Pacific to ask if they’re concerned about this safety element, and will let you hungry readers know when and if I hear back.

hello, snacks.

hello, snacks.

Moreover, the PepsiCo robot is part of a larger trend of autonomous food delivery. UC Berkeley got its own snack delivery robot in 2017 — only to have it catch fire in December 2018. This, naturally, prompted a candle-lit vigil. But companies like GM, Ford, Walmart, and Door Dash are also getting into the robot delivery game; hopefully, they’ll have less firey results.

For now, we wish the University of the Pacific’s rolling munchy machines all the best.

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