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The robots have landed: Kiwibot delivering fast, hot food to NMSU campus community

  • By Adriana M. Chávez
  • 575-646-1957
  • adchavez@nmsu.edu
  • Aug 05, 2021
Small robot on four wheels parked in front of a bench with a seated Pistol Pete statue
Man placing a brown paper bag inside of a robot on four wheels

The New Mexico State University main campus has been swarmed by robots – the cute, fast and efficient kind delivering hot and delicious meals.

The Kiwibot food delivery service is launching at NMSU just before the fall semester starts, giving students moving into campus dorms a quick option to get fresh meals from Sodexo-serviced locations on campus. Meals are ordered through the Sodexo Bite+ app and paid for as part of a meal plan subscription or a la carte.

While the service was developed with students’ needs in mind, it is also available to NMSU faculty and staff. For now, meal options are limited to Sodexo offerings, but there are plans to expand to various campus eateries.

“We are launching Kiwibot at select Sodexo-serviced locations as we test and perfect the program,” said Dwayne Wisniewski, director of NMSU Dining. “Our goal is to expand it in the coming months to more than 10 food outlets across campus, including Subway, Chick-fil-A and Einstein Bros. Bagels.”

Kiwibots deliver food via a locked compartment that only the recipient can open through the Bite+ app. Each robot is thoroughly sanitized between deliveries. Average delivery time is 20 to 35 minutes, depending on distance and peak meal delivery times.

“We are excited to grow our robot food delivery service with Kiwibot and provide customers with a safe, convenient, contactless and innovative solution,” said Aurelia Valot, Sodexo vice president of Digital Transformation and Innovation.

Kiwibot, a company based in Berkeley, California, has been met with great success at University of Denver, downtown San Jose, Calif., Medellín, Colombia, and Taipei, Taiwan.

David Rodriguez, director of strategy and business operations at Kiwibot, said Kiwibot launched in 2017 in Colombia, and started expanding in the U.S. last year. Kiwibot’s popularity grew when the COVID-19 pandemic created a demand for delivery services, and was also used to deliver food for food pantries at several locations.

Kiwibot delivery hours are dependent on regular Sodexo location business hours.