March 18, 2016      

Say goodbye to your local pizza delivery boy.

Domino’s is testing a prototype pizza delivery robot in New Zealand, the fast food company announced. The Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU) pizza delivery robot has four wheels, is less than three feet tall, and has a heated compartment that can hold up to 10 pizzas. It can deliver pizzas within a 12.5-mile radius before needing to be recharged.

Domino’s has been pretty innovative over the years – with everything but its food – and the DRU is quite impressive. It’s filled with thousands of dollars worth of military robotics technology, uses LIDAR to map its environment, and has built-in GPS tracking that syncs with Google Maps.

Lifehacker Australia reports DRU’s first deliveries were made in restricted streets permitted by the local transport authorities. DRU is locked to prevent people from stealing your pizzas, so when it arrives at your house you need to enter a code that opens DRU’s storage compartment.

Domino’s says it’s working with global partners to ensure the delivery droid meets the necessary requirements to be tested on roads and footpaths. Vehicles will start appearing in stores within the next six months, but it could take up to two years for pizza delivery shuttles to become a regular sight on the streets of Queensland.

“This is an exciting opportunity for New Zealand … over the last 12 months I’ve been actively and aggressively promoting New Zealand as a test bed for new transport technology trials,” Transport Minister Simon Bridges tells the AFP.

Some pizza lovers have expressed concerns on social media that DRU isn’t practical and won’t work. “I doubt this thing could outperform a car going 50k [30mph], be able to open gates, climb stairs, dodge homeless people or avoid opportunistic thieves ready to pull it apart,” wrote James Stewart on the Domino’s New Zealand Facebook page.

If only Domino’s spent as much time on its food as it did DRU, maybe it’d be on to something here.