If you live in Brickell, you may receive a meal from a self-driving robot

Posted at 2:24 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 14:24:26-04

Brickell residents can now receive their next meal from a robot. REEF Technology partnered with robotic startup Cartken, to launch Miami’s first self-driving delivery bot.

“We are very interested in making Miami a tech and innovation hub. So we think it’s very important for us to be leaders in bringing new technologies to the Miami area. This was one way of bringing that innovation but also helping our customers and helping our business model making it affordable for more people. On average our delivery costs are about 47% lower than using traditional methods,” said Co-Founder of Reef Technology Philippe Saint-Just.

So how does it work? Once an order is received, a REEF employee puts in a code to open the bot, puts the food in, then it’s off to it’s next destination.

“The robots are all electric, so very eco-friendly, and they don’t make much noise either so friendly for the neighborhood. They roll on the sidewalk and they have sensors around them that basically detects people [and] obstacles,” said Philippe.

“We started doing deliveries [through one of our] sales channels, so UberEats. We notice there’s huge potential using these robot deliveries within one mile away of our neighborhood hub,” said Yousef Elkhatib, Operations Excellence Manager.

When the robot arrives at a house or apartment building, it waits outside and sends a text message alerting the customer that the delivery has arrived. The robot is locked so that no one but the recipient can access the food. The bot can keep the food warm or cold.

City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez very excited about this new project, stating in REEF’s press release, “We’re proud to be ground zero for this type of exciting and forward-thinking innovation that will help reduce congestion and carbon emissions- not just in Miami, but cities around the world.”

Brickell resident Scott Porter says it’s progressive.

“I try to reduce my carbon footprint as much as possible, I have a water bottle I don’t drink water anymore, so anything to help the environment,” said Scott.

Right now, the bots are delivering orders from REEF’s network of delivery-only restaurant brands but they have plans to expand to other neighborhoods in the following weeks.

“We’re looking at expanding to our other neighborhood hubs in the Miami area, such as North Miami and Wynwood. Beyond that, our other cities [including] Los Angeles, Austin and perhaps even New York,” added Philippe.