Snack Attack! Robby the Self-Driving Robot Delivers Food to GTC Attendees

by Murali Gopalakrishna

If you’re at GTC this week and your stomach is rumbling between meals, you’re in luck.

Robby, a self-driving robot from Robby Technologies, will be packed with snacks and roaming outside the halls of the San Jose Convention Center, making special deliveries to show-goers.

Some 8,500 attendees have flooded into our ninth annual GPU Technology Conference. Signage around the show halls will detail ways for them to sign up for a delivery from Robby.

On a first come, first serve basis, lucky individuals will be given a link to select their snack items and the robot will roll right up to them.

The Robby team is trialing this technology for the first time at GTC as a new type of concession stand experience, which they call Robby Venue. It can be applied to conferences, stadiums, fairs and amusement parks, so people don’t have to wait in long lines for their food and drinks.

A user would simply open an app offered by the venue and then choose the items they’d like to order. Moments later, it’s Robby to the rescue.

New Meaning to Speeds and Feeds

Born out of MIT by two Ph.D.s in robotics and computer vision, Robby Technologies is a venture-backed company based in Silicon Valley with a strong team and robot deployments across California.

Robby Technology robot
Robby Technologies co-founder and CEO Rui Li (left), and co-founder and CTO Dheera Venkatraman (right) with the Robby 2.

Robby is already delivering on their broader view for self-driving robots to change the way goods are moved around and between people, stores and warehouses.

At its heart is an NVIDIA GPU that enables deep learning for real-time perception. The robot can localize itself within centimeter accuracy with full awareness of its environment. It can navigate to the destination autonomously while detecting and avoiding obstacles along the way, such as humans, cars, bicycles and even dogs.

This enables the robot to travel safely on sidewalks and be people friendly. It will slow down and stop to yield for pedestrians and politely say “excuse me” when blocked by people. It will then say “thank you” when people move away.

The robot also has a number of security measures. Its digital lock can only be opened by the intended customer via a mobile app. It also has an alarm system, 360-degree cameras and GPS tracking, making it pretty hard for someone to steal it without getting caught.

The team’s next-gen robot, Robby 2, was released earlier this year at CES and works for all weather conditions. Its six wheels and all-wheel drive gives it SUV-like climbing capabilities. It has a travel range of more than 20 miles and storage capabilities equal to that of a large suitcase.

Come see Robby’s robots and meet the team at GTC this week.