Food delivery robots roll onto Ole Miss campus

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OXFORD, Miss. — Artificial intelligence has arrived at Ole Miss in the form of food delivery robots. Thirty new robots have been roaming campus for a week, dropping off snacks, meals and drinks.

It’s been exactly one week since Ole Miss launched 30 Starship delivery robots. They line up outside the student union, are packed with food and drink orders, then drop off their delivery to a waiting customer.

“I really like them now,” freshman Emily Lineberger said. “I’ve used them like three times, and they’re really convenient and cute.”

Students download the Starship app onto their phone and place an order from dozens of options. After they’re loaded up with food, the robots use a camera-vision system to find their destination.

“The feedback has been really positive,” said Sandra Soolate with Starship. “It’s definitely the best part of the job, to get that true reaction when we go live. Students have been using the app a lot, delivering from all these amazing merchants here on the campus.”

There’s a $2 delivery charge, and wait times can be anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes depending on the time of day and the distance of the delivery.

Only a handful of schools around the country use the Starship bots, making Ole Miss one of the first in this futuristic field.

“I think it’s really cool,” senior Sydney Points said. “I feel like it’s the future, and it’ll just get bigger.”

“A lot of technology doesn’t take off, but I really think this will,” Lineberger said. “And I really think that a lot of college campuses will start getting Starships.”

Starship’s goal is to have robots on more than 100 campuses within the next two years, so watch out for more delivery bots to come.

“Campuses want to have this,” Soolate said. “It’s something really innovative and exciting for their students to have.”

For now, the delivery robots only take orders inside the Ole Miss campus.

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