Man, when Philip J. Fry climbs out of that cryogenic tube, he’s gonna be pissed to find out he’s out of a job. Domino’s has announced that it’s developed a prototype for an autonomous pizza delivery vehicle. Dubbed DRU, or Domino’s Robotic Unit, the self-driving pizza delivery drone is designed to drive its payload of pizzas and beverages from the franchise straight to the customer’s front door.
Developed with help from Australia’s Marathon Robotics, who up to this point have spent their days building robotic live-fire targets, the four-wheeled DRU is equipped with a suite of sensors designed to help it sense and dodge obstacles. The roughly three-foot-tall robot is battery powered, with a range of roughly 12.5 miles, according to AFP. It comes with separate compartments to keep warm things toasty and cool ones frigid, making it slightly analogous to a rolling McDLT container. And if you’re worried some roving pizza bandits might swoop in and abduct your carbohydrate-laden dinner, don’t sweat it; the only way to open the locked pizza chamber is through a code sent to the customer’s phone.
Believe it or not, this isn’t some pizza pie-in-the-sky pipe dream. Domino’s Group CEO Don Meij said the company intends to integrate the DRU into their team of (*cue eye roll*) “delivery experts.” Indeed, the DRU prototype has already begun making trial runs, zipping along streets and walkways in selected neighborhoods of Queensland to bring piping hot Domino’s to hungry Aussies.
Domino’s hasn’t stated if the DRU will be coming to American shores, but given this nation’s love for both technology and pizza, it’s hard to imagine the company won’t send it this way sooner or later. Besides, it knows we Americans love our pizza-based transportation gimmicks. After all, this is the company that gave us the pizza car with on-board oven.