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Domino's Plans to Unleash These Pizza Delivery Robots on the Streets of Brisbane

The chain announced that it has developed a prototype DRU—or "Domino’s Robotic Unit." The mini robots will have compartments built to keep pizza piping hot, as well as a “friendly persona.”
All photos courtesy of Domino's Pizza

Delivering pizza may be a bad job, but it's a job. Sure, it's dangerous: You might get robbed while on your beat—or hit with a huge insurance liability you can't afford. You might even have to deliver to a crowded train in India or to a prison. But delivering pizza is to our generation what hawking newspapers on the streets was to our grandparents': an easy first job to get without any real experience.


Say a solemn goodbye to all that now.

Domino's will be unleashing the very first autonomous pizza delivery vehicles on the streets of Brisbane, Australia sometime in the near future. The chain announced that it has developed a prototype DRU—or "Domino's Robotic Unit." The mini robots will have compartments built to keep pizza piping hot, as well as a "friendly persona," which the chain says will "help customers identify and interact with it."

READ MORE: I Got High, Blown, and Robbed When I Was a Pizza Delivery Guy

So, kids, don't get mad at the pizza-wielding robot that just took the only job you are qualified for—it just might lead to a co-branded Pixar movie about a mischievous yet lovable delivery robot. Who the hell could be mad at this face?

Domino's pizza delivery robot 2

The DRUs will navigate to customers' locations using GPS and on-board sensors that detect and help it avoid perceived obstacles. Oh, and these little BB-8 wannabes will also have a compartment to keep drinks cold, too.

Domino's seems pretty taken with their doe-eyed prototype. In a press release they say, "DRU is cheeky and endearing and we are confident that one day he will become an integral part of the Domino's family. He's a road to the future and one that we are very excited about exploring further."

Repeat after us: Corporations are people, and robots are part of the family. Got it? Good.

READ MORE: This Pizza Delivery Boat Is Taking New York Slices to the High Seas


The droids are being developed by a partnership between Domino and Marathon Robotics, an Australian company that supplies military customers with autonomous robot targets. It is expected that these new pizza delivery dudes will travel up to 12.5 miles per hour. When your pal DRU arrives at your home or office, you punch in a security code to open the locked compartments and retrieve your order.

But don't expect to see your neighborhood sidewalks filled with these robots tomorrow. Even Domino's admits their new metallic employees will have to pass a number of "regulatory hurdles and challenges" before they hit the streets of Brisbane. Domino's is hopeful, though, and says the applicable government agencies have been "very supportive."

If you do, however, happen to live in Brisbane and swear you've already seen a hunk of metal zipping down the sidewalk, smelling of melted cheese and pepperoni, don't worry—you're not crazy. A number of deliveries have already taken place in prototype trials on restricted streets selected by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Domino's Group CEO and Managing Director Don Meij says: "This highlights what can happen when disruptive thinking is fostered—it turns into a commercially viable and revolutionary product."

You might also say that the advent of the pizza delivery robot highlights another issue: the potential loss of the de facto entry-level job of an entire generation.