Cartken robot (Photo by Tyler Bowman, visual designer for the Arizona Student Unions)

University of Arizona Students Rank #2 for ‘Most Robot Deliveries’

August 28, 2023
By Matt Sterner

University of Arizona/UArizona students really love their robots when it comes to getting food delivered on campus.

Grubhub revealed that local students requested more than 50,000 autonomous deliveries using Cartken robots during the 2022-2023 school year. Cartken robots first debuted on campus in August last year, just in time for the start of the new school year.

Top Three Schools with the “Most Robot Deliveries
  1. Ohio State University
  2. University of Arizona
  3. University of Notre Dame

The university has a partnership with Grubhub Campus, allowing students to use their meal plans to order food from more than 10 on-campus restaurants.

Neat Statistics

The median driving time for the Cartken robots was 12 minutes and 55 seconds per delivery last year. The university used more than 40 robots that zipped around campus — at 300 miles a day, too. Each of these robots, which look like they have little eyeballs on the front, averaged about eight miles a day.

With all that zippin’ going on, Cartken robots delivered an average of 400 student orders a day and the record was 444 orders in a single day.

Most Ordered Items Delivered by Robot
  1. Chicken Tenders
  2. Bagels
  3. Burritos

These robots are apparently obeying the law, too. They know to navigate on sidewalks when they’re available, they use crosswalks to avoid jaywalking, and can locate pedestrian paths on campus.

a car parked in front of a building
Cartken robots (Photo courtesy of Grubhub)

University of Arizona students will have access to these six-wheeled food runners this school year as well.

“At the University of Arizona, we pride ourselves on being an innovative institution, not only for learning, but overall student experience,” said Christine Carlson, director of dining and nutrition at the University of Arizona. “Cartken’s robot delivery technology helps us provide students with more convenient dining options and access to food across campus. The students and staff really enjoy engaging with the robots.”

So, there you have it, and thank you very much, Mr. Roboto.

Grubhub took a look at ordering trends from more than 270 campuses it works with, and here are some more interesting ordering habits. 

  • Students love burritos. Similar to Grubhub’s national ‘22 Delivered findings, burritos ranked as the number one food item ordered by college students.  
  • They can’t get enough spice! For those late-night orders, hot sauce (from hot to mild) ranked as the top three items ordered by students.  
  • When it comes to coffee, they like it iced. Students opted more for cold beverages.  
Cartken robots (Photo courtesy of Grubhub)
Not a Fan of Robots?

If you’re in the mood to eat somewhere off of campus, which you should do regularly, there’s plenty to explore in the area that also caters to professors and visiting parents. From a bakery featuring French macrons to a new upscale Mexican dining room, there is a lot happening around the university.

Check out our latest guide “Best Places to Eat & Drink Near the University of Arizona.”

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