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From drones to robots, look how Domino's is about to change the way your pizza is delivered
Pizza is one of the first food snack that comes to mind whenever you are starving with hunger and need a quick bite. Internationally popular pizza delivery chains like Domino's and Pizza Hut have become quite popular and are capable of providing a decent pizza within a few minutes.

Although Domino's stands by its claim of delivering a freshly baked pizza within 30 minutes, the takeaway delivery guys riding on bikes barely manage to keep down the delivery time to below 30 minutes after often getting stuck in traffic jams while driving through crammed lanes.

Rising fuel costs and ever increasing traffic congestion on roads has compelled businesses to try out different alternatives to reduce delivery costs and edge past competition. While drones are not expected to start delivering pizzas anytime soon due to airspace restriction, security etc related issues, popular pizza delivery chain Domino's has reportedly conducted successful trials of its Domino's Robotic Unit (DRU) in March this year.

So beware pizza delivery boys and girls as Domino's autonomous pizza delivery system has been successfully tested in New Zealand. The company had announced that the bot successfully carried out its first pizza delivery on March 8, this year. The company wrote in a statement on its website, "DRU is an autonomous delivery vehicle and is set to take the world by storm."

The development of the vehicle had started in 2015 by Domino's Australia-based skunkworks Dlab. The DRU uses a software developed by Australian military contractor Marathon. The company is a startup that manufactures autonomous robots with obstacle-avoidance capabilities.


According to Domino's, the four-wheeled vehicle is capable of avoiding hurdles by using on-board sensors. The bot which is about a metre tall has two compartments, one for keeping the beverages cool and another for keeping the pizzas hot. The vehicle can carry up to 10 pizzas at a time. The customers can unlock the compartment with their order-specific codes. The DRU has a maximum range of 20 km, which means it can travel up to 20 km from the outlet without needing a battery recharge. It can travel on both roads and footpaths.

Since it is a relatively new technology, it is yet to be seen how this bot would be able to guard its precious cargo from thieves, especially when put to commercial use in poor Asian and African countries.

Domino's is currently working in collaboration with New Zealand authorities for starting large-scale trials of DRU in the country.

In the meanwhile, Domino's has also made some headway in development of drones for delivering its pizzas. Domino's has collaborated with drone company Flirtey and together they successfully tested their DRU drone in Auckland, New Zealand in August this year. Customer trials are expected to take place later this year.

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