Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport has introduced a new rolling droid, in partnership with AtYourGate, as part of a pilot programme that enhances contactless food ordering capabilities in Terminal 1.
The rolling droid, named Gita, uses visual sensing technology to follow the AtYourGate delivery staff member to reach their customers at their gate or elsewhere in Terminal 1. Order demand and locations factor into when and where Gita is dispatched. The droid can carry up to 18 kg in its cargo bin.
“There is convenience and safety for customers to be able to order food from their phones or laptops, and within 15 to 30 minutes, the Gita rolls up and opens its cargo doors for the customers to grab their order,” said Eric Johnson, Director of Commercial Management and Airline Affairs for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which operates MSP. “It’s fun and whimsical, but there is also a purpose behind the technology for customers to feel more confident in avoiding queue lines and having their order delivered.”
MSP is the fourth AtYourGate US airport to launch the delivery droid, which is manufactured by Piaggio Fast Forward.
AtYourGate Co-founder Chris Hartman said: “We see Gita as the first step towards introducing robotics as an innovative and safe new option for passengers who shop and dine while at MSP. Plus, the surprise and delight moments created when guests meet gita for the first time provide a terrific opportunity for the AtYourGate team to promote the MSP ASAP experience.”
The mobile food ordering and delivery service at the airport launched in November 2020 in partnership with both AtYourGate and Grab. Customers can order delivery from 16 food venues as well as from North Loop Market, which offers packaged food, drinks, electronics and travel accessories. The same programme also allows customers to order for pick-up to limit time in queue lines and enhance social distancing.