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Starship Technologies to deploy 30 delivery robots on UW-Madison campus

The UW is Starship's biggest campus client to date.

(Image: Starship Technologies)

Robotic delivery company Starship Technologies is deploying 30 robots at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, giving more than 66,000 students, staff and faculty access to autonomous food delivery.

The UW is the company’s biggest U.S. campus client to date, Starship said in a statement. 

The news comes as the San-Francisco-based startup is rolling out robotic delivery on universities across the country. Fleets of roaming mini-robots should be on 100 U.S. campuses within the next two years, the company announced this summer.

To support that expansion, the company recently raised $40 million in venture funding, bringing the total amount it has raised to $85 million.

Starship Technologies delivery robot (Image: Starship Technologies)

The rollout has not been without glitches. The University of Pittsburgh temporarily suspended its robot delivery program with Starship after the autonomous rovers interfered with a student in a wheelchair.

Perhaps to avoid similar situations, Starship has posted an ad for a “robot operator” in Madison. 

The individual will “support robots throughout the shift, solve unexpected situations that might arise during the course of a delivery and work effectively as a team to ensure exceptional results in the delivery service from merchants to customers.”

A partnership between Starship and the university’s housing and dining division, the autonomous delivery program will operate out of three dining halls on campus.

Users order items from the dining halls using the Starship app. Students in dormitories can pay with their campus meal cards. The on-demand delivery charge is $1.99.

Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to [email protected]