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Starship Robot Delivery Now Available on 21 College Campuses
Average deployment is 30 - 50 robots per school.
Earlier this week Starship’s delivery robots rolled out on to the campus of South Dakota State University. I’ve been covering Starship’s college deployments since the first one back at George Mason University in January 2019. In the intervening years there have been so many “Starship arrives at X College/University” that I stopped covering individual roll outs (except for NC A&T because the school is picking up the delivery tab for students).
Anyway, while I wasn’t that interested specifically in South Dakota State, I was interested to see just how far and wide Starship is now on college campuses now that it’s been a few years since George Mason. So I reached out to Starship, which provided me with a full list (see below). TL;DR version: Starship is now on 21 colleges and universities. Not only that, but the average deployment is 30 - 50 robots.
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Why is this important? Well, for one it shows that Starship has a commanding lead when it comes to real world robot delivery deployments around the country. This not only generates more revenue for Starship, but also provides a ton more data for its autonomous driving and delivery services. Dominance perpetuates itself.
But in a larger sense, this broad (and growing) use of robots is doing something else. It’s teaching a generation of students to use and rely on robot delivery. This training will make them much more likely to use (and want) on-demand delivery to wherever they are via robots. After four years of having robots fetch you a snack while you hang out and hacky sack (kids still hacky, right?) in the quad, you’d probably expect that same level of service when you’re at the park or beach or wherever.
While Starship is ahead of the pack, it certainly cannot rest on its robot laurels. Kiwibot, which also has a number of college deployments, has pushed the goalposts forward and is piloting end-to-end autonomous retail with StoreXapp. The future is on-campus unattended autonomous retail stores taking orders and filling up delivery robots with snack and drinks to be delivered to dorms all night long. Starship needs to start testing its out end-to-end autonomy if it wants to remain a big person on campus.
Colleges with Starship Robot Delivery
George Mason University
Northern Arizona University
University of Wisconsin
University of Houston
Bowling Green State University
University of Mississippi
Oregon State University
Georgia Southern University
James Madison University
Arizona State University
Bridgewater State University
University of Nevada, Reno
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
University of Kentucky
University of Illinois Chicago
North Carolina A&T State University
South Dakota State University.