Food Delivery Robots Now Serving South Dakota State University

Starship Technologies’ 30 robots will make autonomous deliveries on SDSU campus

BROOKINGS, SD and SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 8, 2021) – Residents of Brookings will soon be getting a glimpse of the future, thanks to South Dakota State University and Starship Technologies. Beginning today, SDSU students will be able to order delivery from several on-campus eateries, with orders delivered by Starship’s fleet of 30 autonomous robots.

SDSU is the first university campus in the state of South Dakota to implement robot food delivery service. While robot deliveries may seem futuristic, Starship has already completed more than two million commercial deliveries across five different countries. At SDSU, the robots will make on-demand deliveries from three campus eateries – Grille Works, Papa Johns and Starbucks – with additional locations added soon. 

The small, six-wheeled robots are designed to travel on sidewalks but they are also able to cross streets, climb curbs, deliver day and night and in a variety of weather conditions, including rain and snow. The robots can do all of this on their own, using a variety of technologies such as radars, sensors and cameras, and are remotely monitored so a human operator can take over during a difficult road crossing or if the robots encounter something unexpected such as construction.

The robots travel at an average speed of 4MPH and each robot can carry up to 20 lbs – the equivalent of about three shopping bags of goods.

The delivery area wll span from 9th Avenue to Jackrabbit Avenue and 7th Street to 18th Street. 

Brookings residents may see the robots on city streets and in crosswalks as they make their deliveries. The robots are designed to detect objects in their path, from humans to dogs to vehicles. Drivers approaching a robot on a curb or in a crosswalk should approach slowly and be prepared to stop, similar to what would happen if they encounter humans or pets.  

“The one thing we have learned in recent years is that students and faculty like flexibility in their dining options,” said Doug Wermedal, associate vice president for student affairs at SDSU. “The ability to have something delivered to various locations throughout campus and the community will be impactful to our students and employees as they continue to manage busy and demanding schedules. We are excited about this partnership, the robotics technology and the student employment opportunities Starship will bring to our campus.”

“We’re excited to make our South Dakota debut at SDSU,” said Ryan Tuohy, SVP of Business Development and Sales at Starship Technologies. “The winters can be tough here so we know the students, faculty and staff will appreciate the robots delivering their food and drink orders. We look forward to providing this convenient service and becoming a part of the campus community.”

Starship Technologies operates commercially on a daily basis around the world. Its zero-emission robots have made more than 2 million autonomous deliveries, travelled millions of miles and make more than 90,000 road crossings every day. 

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About South Dakota State University

Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state’s Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from seven different colleges representing more than 200 majors, minors and specializations. The institution also offers 37 master’s degree programs, 15 Ph.D. and two professional programs.

The work of the university is carried out on a residential campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across the state. SDSU’s research expenditures for the 2019 fiscal year were more than $65 million

About Starship Technologies

Starship Technologies is revolutionizing deliveries with autonomous robots. The robots are designed to deliver food, groceries and packages locally in minutes. The delivery robots have traveled millions of miles and completed over 2m autonomous deliveries around the world. They drive autonomously but are monitored by humans who can take control at any time. Starship was founded by Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis (Skype Chief Architect and Co-founder) and Alastair Westgarth is the CEO.

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Facebook: @Starshiptech

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Henry Harris-Burland

VP of Marketing

Starship Technologies 


Janel Steinberg (US)

Liberty Communications for Starship Technologies 

+1 415 429 5652