Domino's trials military-grade pizza delivery robot

Domino's has moved one step closer to a world in which freshly cooked food arrives on the doorstep without any human involvement, with the development of an autonomous delivery vehicle.

The machine, named DRU (Domino’s Robotic Unit), was created in Australia by Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (DPE), which owns the brand’s master franchise rights in Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Japan.

DRU uses a base unit sourced from the military, and is powered by technology from Australian start-up company Marathon Robotics, which builds robotic moving targets for military training.

Following its first successful delivery in Australia, DRU is likely to have its first large-scale trials in New Zealand. The country’s transport minister, Simon Briggs, said that the government was working with Domino’s on the project and was keen to promote New Zealand as a test bed for transport technology trials.

DPE group CEO and managing director Don Meij said that DRU was evidence of "what can happen when disruptive thinking is fostered".

"The DRU prototype is only the first step in our research and development as we continue to develop a range of innovations set to revolutionise the entire pizza ordering experience," he said.

The real and genuine DRU should not be confused with a very similar announcement made on 1 April last year by Domino’s UK.