Robots can’t feel love, but they also can’t get sick.
A pizza place in Arizona is testing a new form of social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak: Instead of sending people out on deliveries, the restaurant has been using robots.
The Venezia’s New York Style Pizza location in Tempe, Ariz., teamed up with Starship Technologies to bring the future to pizza delivery, Fox 10 reports. The robots are able to make deliveries within a half-mile radius.
“We have our own delivery drivers, third-party delivery and now robot delivery drivers… we have everything covered during this pandemic,” restaurant manager Renny Mitchell told Fox 10. Mitchell added that the new robot “is making it easier than ever before to social distance.”
A video uploaded to the restaurant’s Facebook page shows the robots in action, essentially looking like insulated boxes on wheels.
In the footage, a worker brings a food order to one of the ‘bots and then sanitizes the lid and the inside of the carriage before placing the food inside. According to Fox 10, the devices are able to navigate around sidewalks and streets.
For now, the service is only available at the pizzeria’s Tempe location, but the restaurant confirmed to Fox News that “the Starship delivery area will be expanding a few miles around the store in the coming weeks, launching new sections each week. A new delivery section will launch next week.”
The restaurant also told Fox News the the robots have been very popular with locals. They say that they’ve even noticed people taking videos of the ‘bots in action and that customers have voiced their appreciation for the contactless delivery option.
“It is so much easier to sanitize a robot, putting it in there and sending it on its way,” Mitchell told Fox 10. “The six-feet thing is super easy to do… [robots] don’t say anything,”