Tthe next time you place an order on Yelp’s Eat24 food delivery app in San Francisco, you might just get a text that reads: “Are you okay with having a robot delivering your order?”
On April 12, robotics startup Marble will unleash its fleet of shopping-cart-sized, self-driving robots to take over some of the work done by human couriers at Yelp Eat24, the food-delivery service bought by Yelp for $134 million in 2015. The bots ferry food from restaurants in the Mission and Potrero Hill neighborhoods to customers nearby.
Marble, which has a team that includes former employees of Apple and Google, is the first company to bring on-demand delivery robots to the streets of San Francisco. The startup faces competition from Starship Technologies, which has smaller robots that began making food deliveries in Silicon Valley in March, as well as Dispatch, whose delivery robots were spotted learning the streets of San Francisco in February.
Business Insider visited Marble’s headquarters to see how the bot works.
Before they tackled the challenge of getting people’s ramen noodles delivered faster, the cofounders of Marble robotics startup set their sights a little higher — in space.
Matt Delaney, Jason Calaiaro, and Kevin Peterson met at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, where they worked on self-driving space robots for the DARPA Grand Challenge, a competition that’s credited with launching the original autonomous vehicles.
Source: Business Insider
They pursued their separate interests over the years. Calaiaro and Peterson won contracts with NASA to design and build spacecraft for exploring the Moon, while Delaney went on to work as an engineer at Apple. They reunited in 2015 to develop a delivery bot.
The trio joined forces with Harrison Shih, a Google alum who helped launch and manage Google+ among other products, and who is now head of product and operations at Marble.