- Piestro and Serve Robotics will deploy delivery robots to carry pizzas prepared in automated kitchen pods over the next few months, the companies announced Thursday. The companies didn’t specify the number of markets or robots that will be involved in the delivery partnership.
- Piestro’s system will alert nearby Serve robots when it receives a delivery order, and hand off the completed pizza to the robot. The robot can carry up to four pizzas at a time and complete deliveries in about 15 minutes. Customers retrieve their pizzas by entering a secure passcode on the robot.
- Restaurants are experimenting with automated delivery and robotic kiosks that automate food production, but this deal may be the first cooperation between a robotic restaurant and a robotic delivery service.
Robotic delivery has attracted interest from major firms, including DoorDash, as the sector expands primarily in dense cities and on college campuses. Serve, which is backed by Uber, 7-Eleven and Delivery Hero's corporate venture units, spun off from Postmates in 2021. It also closed a $13 million funding round in December. The autonmous delivery robotics company is piloting its tech this year with Uber Eats in Los Angeles.
“Robotic delivery is contactless and reliable, with a higher on-time rate than couriers, and will allow our customers to get their pizzas even faster than before,” Massimo De Marco, CEO of Piestro, said in a statement. Serve Robotics claims its robots can navigate along sidewalks with pedestrians, though they may sometimes need remote supervision.
Piestro, which makes automated pizza kiosks, has been expanding through partnerships with ghost kitchen operators and pizza companies. In August, 800 Degrees Pizza signed a five-year deal with Piestro to deploy thousands of robotic pizza kiosks. The two companies then formed 800 Degrees Go, a joint venture to support the expansion of the pizza kiosks. Ghost kitchen giant Reef began pursuing an ownership stake in 800 Degrees Go in April.
Piestro is backed by a number of other robotics companies, according to the press release, including Wavemaker Labs, which helped launch Miso Robotics.