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Robot Food Delivery Is a Thing and It’s Happening in San Francisco

Your Next Food Delivery Driver Could

* Yelp Eat24 and tech startup Marble teaming up to offer robot food delivery
* Service currently restricted to San Fran’s Mission and Portero Hill neighborhoods
* Ultrasonic sensors and cameras help robots map their surroundings

Local San Fran startup, Marble, has partnered with Yelp Eat24 to bring food-delivering robots to the streets. While these robots won’t be available for everyone, select Eat24 users whose profiles meet the requirements may receive a notification that their food will be delivered by a bot when they place an order.

These aren’t your typical run-of-the-mill robots. In fact, at a little over waist high, they look more like mini refrigerators on wheels. But with tons of high-tech sequential data packed in each unit, they have no problem getting the job done.

Equipped with powerful ultrasonic sensors and a tiny microcomputer, the robots are able to map out their environment and can operate both during the day and at night. For the time being, though, these Marble robots aren’t able to climb stairs, so the service is currently restricted to San Fran’s (relatively) flat Mission and Portero Hill neighborhoods.

Each bot is currently being accompanied by a “robotic supervisor” (cool job alert), but the end goal is to have them deliver food autonomously. While Marble is currently focused on tackling the takeout business, the company hopes to expand their services to groceries, parcels and even pharmaceuticals in the near future.

Even though these robots aren’t able to stick around for chit chat, you can still give them a tip through the Eat24 app.