Just Eat completes 'world first' takeaway delivery by self-driving robot

Just Eat has carried out what it says is the world's first delivery of an online food order by robot.

Just Eat completes 'world first' takeaway delivery by self-driving robot

The food ordering platform had worked with London-based Starship Technologies to design and manufacture the six-wheel "pavement droid" that was used to deliver the food from Turkish restaurant Taksim Meze.

Just Eat said that the live run had come after five months of testing in Greenwich, south-east London. The machine will now be used regularly in the area, and expanded across London in 2017. The system works by sending the customer a code by text to open the cargo hold of the robot, ensuring food deliveries are not stolen en route.

Graham Corfield, UK managing director at Just Eat, said: "We have been working closely with Starship Technologies for many months to ensure that we can seamlessly integrate this exciting technology with our restaurants partners, customers and online booking service."

Just Eat has been in a race to get autonomous delivery technology off the ground with Domino’s, which has been working on a similar project, Domino’s Robotic Unit, in Australia. The DRU carried out its first delivery in March – but it appears Just Eat has beaten it to the first delivery of a regular customer order placed online.

Pizza Hut, meanwhile, has introduced humanoid robot Pepper into some of its Asian restaurants. The robot can provide information to consumers and take payments.

Ana Maria Stingaciu, manager of Takzim Meze, said: "Providing first-rate customer service is our top priority and, with this added set of hands (or wheels I should say) we can focus our manpower in the kitchen. I am looking forward to utilising the technology during the busy festive season to help keep up with demand."