My Postmates Order Was Delivered By A Robot!

Filed Under: Travel Technology

Like Lucky, I find myself using Postmates quite a bit (and I too was bummed when purchases from them stopped being categorized as Dining).

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Postmates is an on-demand delivery app that will bring food from local restaurants to your door. It’s easy to use, and the delivery fees are generally reasonable, though they do have an Uber-like “surge pricing” model. I like them because their competitors in my area don’t have as wide a selection of restaurant options, and it’s easier than calling to place an order (I have a powerful aversion to talking on the phone — you would too if you were as awkward as I am).

I live in D.C., and Postmates has been testing food delivery robots here for the past couple months. Yesterday I was so excited when I ordered dinner and discovered that it would be delivered by a little robot!

postmates delivery accepted

My excitement faded slightly as the minutes ticked by. Clearly they still have a few kinks to work out. As you can see from the screenshots below, it took the robot a lot longer than expected to arrive at my building.



Basically they could’ve strapped my burger onto a tortoise and it would’ve gotten to me faster. But I really didn’t mind, since eventually I saw this cute little guy rolling down my block:

Postmates robot

The robot was accompanied by a human, since this is all still in the testing phase. He had to tell me how to open the robot to get my food, since it wasn’t immediately apparent (I tried opening it from the wrong end).


And then I guess either the robot or its human companion didn’t mark the delivery as completed, because for a while afterwards I was still able to track the robot’s location.

When the delivery finally was marked as completed, I got this very puzzling screen.


A tip? For the robot? Is it saving up for some more RAM? I guess it could be for the handler, but this screen doesn’t make that clear.

Anyway, overall this was a fun experience. Hopefully they’ll work out some of the bugs and these little guys can become fully autonomous.

I, for one, welcome our new robotic food delivery overlords. Uber Eats, your move.

As a reminder, if you don’t yet have a Postmates account you can receive a $100 discount on delivery costs using promotion code BS100. Simply enter it after you download the app on your “Account” page, under the “Enter Promo Code” section.

  1. Andrew those robots depend on a tip to earn a living. Everyone knows minimum robot wage is not enough to support a family. Maybe one day we in the US will treat robots in the US like the Robots of Japan. I hope you left him something to help his robot family. Oil isn’t cheap!!!

  2. I’m not about to support some droid army. Nobody ever tipped R2-D2 and he did some pretty incredible things–so yeah, that’s the level of service I’d expect before I start tipping a robot.

  3. not sure why you blurred out all the street names, but not your address in the previous photo

  4. I suspect these things will be the subject of vandalism and theft. I can see kids taking the robot “tipping” literally to screw with things.

  5. Totally against these robots. They’ll even take away the minimum wage jobs. Of course, immigrants will get blamed for it.

  6. So obnoxious, these robot threads always degrade into the exact same arguments on tipping…

  7. If you can afford to order food, surely you can afford to tip the poor robot that’s trying to make ends meet. Some of these robots have to work long hours without any breaks. And they do their work without having any attitude. Sure, this one was slow, but maybe it’s because of people like YOU who don’t tip them that they don’t have enough fuel to go as fast as they can.

  8. The downside of living in a smaller metro area. We don’t get any type of testing or trials done.

  9. REally you like robot delivering the food.

    We will be soon in a world where these corporations and the 1% make all the products using robots and want the 99% to buy the products. but without any job no one will have money to buy anything.

  10. As soon as this robot is not companioned anymore, some drunk kids would beat the s**t out of this robot. At least they dont beat humans, one good thing about this robot. Otherwise I still prefer a human bringing my food.

  11. There goes my brothers extra curricular job after school and on weekends. He’s met a lot of really nice ppl on his routes and made $11,000. before taxes. He loves Post Mates.

  12. I’m sure that before the Fall, cute little robots delivered food all over Caprica, relaying information to their masters. And we know how that turned out.

    @Christian – “companioned”? No. Just no. “Companion” is a noun. “Accompanied” would be right.

  13. Good to read a report of this robot service from a real customer.
    Thanks for sharing Andrew, hope to see more of your posts here.

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