For those of you who aren’t familiar, Postmates is an on-demand delivery app that will bring food from local restaurants to your door. It’s easy to use, and the delivery fees are generally reasonable, though they do have an Uber-like “surge pricing” model. I like them because their competitors in my area don’t have as wide a selection of restaurant options, and it’s easier than calling to place an order (I have a powerful aversion to talking on the phone — you would too if you were as awkward as I am).
I live in D.C., and Postmates has been testing food delivery robots here for the past couple months. Yesterday I was so excited when I ordered dinner and discovered that it would be delivered by a little robot!
My excitement faded slightly as the minutes ticked by. Clearly they still have a few kinks to work out. As you can see from the screenshots below, it took the robot a lot longer than expected to arrive at my building.
Basically they could’ve strapped my burger onto a tortoise and it would’ve gotten to me faster. But I really didn’t mind, since eventually I saw this cute little guy rolling down my block:
The robot was accompanied by a human, since this is all still in the testing phase. He had to tell me how to open the robot to get my food, since it wasn’t immediately apparent (I tried opening it from the wrong end).
And then I guess either the robot or its human companion didn’t mark the delivery as completed, because for a while afterwards I was still able to track the robot’s location.
When the delivery finally was marked as completed, I got this very puzzling screen.
A tip? For the robot? Is it saving up for some more RAM? I guess it could be for the handler, but this screen doesn’t make that clear.
Anyway, overall this was a fun experience. Hopefully they’ll work out some of the bugs and these little guys can become fully autonomous.
I, for one, welcome our new robotic food delivery overlords. Uber Eats, your move.