Hosted Kitchens Starts Testing Delivery Robots in Dublin
The company's roll-your-own approach to robots is something to watch.
For Sean Murray, Founder and CEO of Hosted Kitchens in Ireland, the goal is to maximize restaurant profitability. As his company’s name spells out, Hosted Kitchens runs a ghost kitchen network in Ireland that allows restaurants to expand without needing to build out their own facilities and infrastructure.
Now Murray is looking to extend those efficiencies into delivery by adding robots to Hosted’s arsenal of services. “Taking the human element out of the last mile delivery piece is really important for restaurant profitability,” Murray told me during an interview this week, noting that current delivery commissions of up to 30 percent are not sustainable for restaurants (a common sentiment in the restaurant industry).
So to bring those delivery fees down, Hosted has kicked off its own robot delivery program. The company made its first robot delivery last week at Dublin City University (DCU). According to Murray, phase one will have just the one robot strictly making deliveries on the DCU campus. “Regulatory wise, Ireland is not ready for these [robots] to hit the public road just yet,” Murray said, adding that Hosted was only able to get insurance for on-campus deliveries.
These teleoperated electric-powered rover bot weighs roughly 45kg (~100lbs), and can travel in a 2km (~1.2 miles) at a pace of 8km/hr (~5mph). The delivery fee is €3 (~$3.39 USD).
Why This Is Interesting
But what piques my interest about Hosted’s robots is where the robots are coming from.