PepsiCo’s snackbot is part of a pilot program whereby it has small autonomous vehicles or delivery robots that deliver snacks on demand through an iOS-powered app.
Now being piloted on campus at the University of Pacific, these bots take snacks to locations set during the order process and are controlled through mobile phones. What’s cool about this is not that our college kids might one day no longer have to get off the couch to go get a snack, but rather the far-reaching application of small autonomous vehicles. Perhaps they could deliver assignments on campuses to students who are ill or handicapped? Or meals on wheels of the future? Package delivery? Maybe!
So it’s not just snack delivery that has me excited about this, it is the potential for good. However, as we develop this technology, let’s plan for its misuse from the start so we can build in controls, safeguards and policies so that one day when I open my front door, I’m not attacked by a free-range snack bot that has been hacked to become a porch pirate.