National study of college students shows delivery robots help them feel safer, improve mental health

Industry News ,
National study of more than 7,000 college students shows delivery robots help students feel safer, skip fewer meals and improve their mental health

64 Percent of College Students Say They Didn’t Skip Meals Because Starship Delivery Robots Allowed Them to Avoid Long Lines for Food

Delivery robots are becoming a popular feature on college campuses across the US and are one of the best and sometimes only options for contactless delivery. It turns out the delivery robots have had other positive impacts on campus.

Starship Technologies, the world’s leading provider of autonomous delivery services, recently conducted an online survey of 7,063 college students on more than 20 campuses across the US where it provides delivery services. Among the findings:

  • 6 out of 10 (60%) said they could study more because the robots deliver when and where they need them
  • 1 in 4 (25%) say the robots have improved their mental health
  • 30% said they felt safer on campus because of the contactless delivery offered by the robots
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) said they didn’t skip meals because they didn’t have to wait in long lines for food
  • The robots are overwhelmingly popular with more than 98% saying they love them (78%) or like them (20%) on their campus
  • More than 60% (61%) place at least one order per week


Delivery Robots Embraced by Students

Part of the reason that students feel such affinity for the Starship robots is because cuteness and convenience were always part of the design. The survey shows:

  • More than 9 out of 10 (93%) say the robots are convenient/helpful
  • Three-quarters (75%) say the robots are friendly/cute
  • More than 40% (44%) say they have treated the robot as they would a person by saying thank you, excuse me, etc.
  • More than half (56%) say they have helped a robot if it appeared to be in need
  • Other popular responses included patted the robot (37%) or took a selfie with it (19%)


Delivery Robots Poised for Future Growth

The increased reliance on Starship delivery robots during the pandemic has had a positive impact that continues to move the industry forward at an accelerated pace. Starship tripled its delivery service in 2021 and survey results show that the students like what they see:

  • More than 9 in 10 (95%) say they would recommend autonomous robots to friends on other campuses
  • An overwhelming majority (90%) prefer robots over drones (8%) or self driving cars (2%) when it comes to autonomous delivery
  • More than 6 in 10 (61%) say the robots are an asset to the campus
  • Two-thirds (67%) feel more favorably about the robots since seeing them in person and/or using the service
  • More than 90% (92%) say they will continue to use autonomous robot delivery it if is available after they graduate


“I never really thought that robots would be part of my college life or that I would get to see them so closely,” said Mason Frantz, a senior at Bowling Green State University. “Now, I just think that it’s so cool and I’m also really glad that I can sleep in longer because the delivery comes to me when I want it.”

Starship has been providing autonomous, on-demand deliveries on college campuses since 2019. Starship robots can now be found delivering daily on campuses nationwide including Bowling Green State University (BGSU), Arizona State University (ASU), Purdue University, University of Kentucky, Ole Miss, Oregon State University (OSU), UCLA, University of Tennessee, North Caroline A&T and James Madison University.

“We thought that college campuses would be a great setting for delivery robots but we had no idea they would be this successful,” said Ryan Tuohy, SVP of Business Development and Sales at Starship Technologies. “We feel fortunate that the students appreciate them so much and treat them as a valued member of the campus community. It’s also rewarding that they are not just making college students’ lives more convenient but that they are making many of them happier while doing it.”

The Starship Food Delivery app is available for download on iOS and Android. To get started, customers choose from a range of their favorite food or drink items, then drop a pin where they want their delivery to be sent. The user can then watch as the robot makes its journey to them, via an interactive map. Once the robot arrives, the customer receives an alert, and can then meet the robot and unlock it through the app.

Starship Technologies operates commercially on a daily basis around the world. Its zero-emission robots make more than 140,000 road crossings every day, have completed over 3 million autonomous commercial deliveries and travelled more than 4 million miles (6 million+ kms) globally, more than any other autonomous delivery provider.

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About Starship Technologies

Starship Technologies is revolutionizing deliveries with autonomous robots. The robots are designed to deliver food, groceries and packages locally in minutes. The delivery robots have traveled millions of miles and completed three million autonomous deliveries around the world. Starship was founded by Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis (Skype Chief Architect and Co-founder) and Alastair Westgarth is the CEO.