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PepsiCo trials robotic delivery in Calif. campus

U.S. soft drink and snack maker PepsiCo Inc. is testing a robotic delivery service at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. in a bid to roll out a more convenient delivery option for customers, The Associated Press reported Jan. 3.

Students can meet with the six-wheeled robot at select points on campus and get the PepsiCo products they ordered through a mobile app, the report said.

The robots built by tech startup Robby Technologies Inc. can reportedly move at speeds of up to six miles per hour and stop when they detect a person in their way.

According to the news wire, three employees are tasked to restock the robots with food and beverage products and replace their batteries with recharged ones when needed.

The service being tested by the soft drink and snack maker is similar to those rolled out by other consumer goods companies and retailers in the past year. Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com Inc. introduced unmanned delivery vehicles early in 2018 while Ford Motor Co. last February launched autonomous delivery trials in partnership with pizza chain Domino's Pizza Inc. and logistics firm Postmates Inc.

In December 2018, U.S. supermarket chain The Kroger Co. said it is expanding a partnership with startup Nuro Inc. to deliver groceries using driverless vehicles.