We welcome our robot overlords.
D.C.'s Broad Branch Market has been a neighborhood standby since 1919. Now, the century-old grocer is embracing the technology of today to continue serving the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
Introducing: robot delivery service!
Yes, you read that right, and it's as cool as it sounds! The market, which sells an assortment of groceries, alcohol, and deli foods, has started using robots to make grocery store deliveries. The four robots can travel up to a mile in the Chevy Chase, Maryland, neighborhood to fulfill grocery orders and simply have their batteries changed when they return to the store. They operate on six wheels and can carry up to 20-pound loads.
Despite its timely occurrence, the robots had actually been a year in the making with Starship Technologies, who encouraged the market to begin using them in the wake of COVID-19. This technology is also being implemented in other public spaces like college campuses, so clearly the need is there, even without the case of a global pandemic.
Courtesy of Broad Branch Market
As of March 25, the store has completed about 20 orders utilizing the robots. The verdict? Quick, easy, and efficient, exactly the way a robot should be. One customer was reported having their delivery arrive in under 30 minutes—easily more convenient than driving your car out to the nearest Aldi.
Many grocery stores offer delivery service, but we can't think of any who use robots to do the job. If this is the way of the future, we welcome our robot overlords.
Currently, the store is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. To maintain a safe shopping environment, only 10 people are allowed inside at a time. Delivery is free of charge. Check out the store's website or Facebook for more information on COVID-19 and the measures they've implemented to keep customers safe.
Would you like to have your groceries delivered by robots? Have you utilized a no-contact delivery service before? Let us know in the comments.