According to Scott Finlow, VP of innovation and insights for global foodservice, PepsiCo, its autonomous robot is the first developed by a consumer products company to deliver snacks in the US.
“Snackbot is the next generation of us delivering convenient, healthier products,” said Finlow.
“It represents a really important intersection of consumer demands and needs and also the evolution of technology.”
Snacks on an app
PepsiCo’s Hello Goodness brand – created in 2015 to provide healthier snacks to consumers on the go – collaborated with US company Robby Technologies to develop the self-driving snack robot.
Via the app, students can order snacks at any time of the day, which the bots will deliver to more than 50 locations across the campus.
The 80 pound three feet tall bots can motor around for more than 20 miles on a single charge, moving at speeds of up to six miles per hour, according to San Francisco-based Robby Technologies. They are equipped with a camera and headlights to allow them to navigate in darkness or rain, as well as to stop when someone stands in front of them.
Three workers on campus are on hand to restock the bots with Baked Lay’s, SunChips, Smartfood Delight, LIFEWTR, Starbucks Cold Brew, Pure Leaf Tea and Bubly sparkling water, as well as recharge batteries, when necessary.
Finlow declined to reveal how much the snack and beverage giant has invested in the technology.
Looking out for consumers
PepsiCo said it is testing this way to deliver its snacks because more of its customers want a convenient way to buy them on their phones.
The test phase began with three robots but PepsiCo plans to grow the fleet to five.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Snackbot to our campus, along with its convenient and nourishing options,” said Matt Camino, director of e-Commerce at the University of the Pacific.
“This innovative technology from PepsiCo is enhancing campus life for our students, staff and faculty alike, who have embraced this new way of snacking from PepsiCo.”