Oct 18, 2022 - News

University of Texas researchers to study delivery robots

An autonomous robot walks up steps at the University of Texas. Photo courtesy of the University of Texas

University of Texas students will soon share the campus with autonomous robots.

The big picture: A $3.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation will allow a team of researchers to run a five-year study of delivery bots, with a focus on what it takes to create a network and safely operate it.

Details: The UT community will be able to order free supplies such as wipes and hand sanitizer through a smartphone app, according to a university press release.

  • Two different types of "dog-like robots" made by Boston Dynamics and Unitree will deliver the items through certain pedestrian zones on campus.
  • The grant allows the researchers to expand on a six-year project, "Living and Working with Robots," which kicked off last year.

Flashback: We previously wrote about the hurdles companies will have to overcome with autonomous delivery.

  • Austin has become a popular city for sidewalk delivery robots, with local restaurants and larger chains using the new technology.

What they're saying: "Robotic systems are becoming more ubiquitous," said project leader Luis Sentis, a professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering. "In addition to programming robots to perform a realistic task such as delivering supplies, we will be able to gather observations to help develop standards for safety, communication and behavior to allow these future systems to be useful and safe in our community."


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Austin.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Austin stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Austin.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more