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This article was published on April 13, 2021

Houston, we have pizza: Domino’s and Nuro run self-driving delivery robots

It's pizza, but not as we know it

Houston, we have pizza: Domino’s and Nuro run self-driving delivery robots Image by: Domino's Pizza, Inc.
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

One small step for robot, one giant leap for rotbotkind.

Thanks to a partnership between autonomous delivery robot developers Nuro and Domino’s, the pizza chain everyone knows and loves, you can now get your cheesy inches brought to your door by an emotionless battery-powered robotic serf.

Well, I say “you,” but in reality it’s only for a very small group of people… in a very specific location… on very specific days, that will be able to take advantage of this futuristic delivery option.

In fact, the only people that will be able to get their pizza delivered by robot are those that place a prepaid order from Domino’s in Woodland Heights, located at 3209 Houston Ave.

But Houston, we have another problem.

Domino’s hasn’t said what days or times those customers will be able to select the Nuro as a delivery option. What’s more, it seems that not everyone that selects the Nuro as the delivery option will actually get it.

In an announcement, the companies say: “Customers who are selected…”

So, it doesn’t sound like everyone will actually get. But hey, the future is kind of here!

Credit: Domino's
Beginning this week, select customers who place a prepaid order on dominos.com on certain days and times from Domino’s, located at 3209 Houston Ave. in Houston, can choose to have their pizza delivered by Nuro’s R2 robot.

For those that do live near this Domino’s outlet, the process is simple. Just order from the company’s website, select the Nuro, and cross your fingers. If you do get your pizza delivered by robot, you’ll get text alerts and can retrieve your ‘za using a code to unlock the robot.

In reality, it’s just a trial. If all goes well, we might be looking at what is a small slice of what the future of pizza delivery will look like.

If you ask me, I’m still waiting for the Black and Decker pizza rehydration system from Back to the Future. Get to it Domino’s.

This isn’t the first time Domino’s has experimented with futuristic delivery methods.

As far back as 2016, the company mused about an awkward robot that was set to deliver pizzas. But then in June 2019, the company promised that by the end of the year it would have a fleet of Nuro delivery robots working around Houston.

It seems that specific trial never came to anything. This latest announcement is perhaps

Last year, the company used a drone to drop a hot steaming pie onto a Dutch beach. It tried a similar thing back in 2016, dropping pizzas from the heavens.

It also delivered pizzas using a self-driving Ford Fusion back in 2017, although there were safety drivers present in this vehicle.

Sorry about all the gags in this piece, I was feeling kind of cheesy.


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