Refraction AI launches contactless robot grocery delivery in Ann Arbor


ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Refraction AI has partnered with the Produce Station in Ann Arbor to offer contactless grocery delivery with its autonomous robot.

The REV-1 robot, which hit the streets of Ann Arbor in December 2019, has been delivering meals from partnering restaurants.

Now, customers who live within a three-mile radius of the Produce Station, are able to order groceries and have them delivered to their homes.

“Our expansion into grocery delivery was a no-brainer during this time when the need for contactless delivery is so strong,” said Matthew Johnson-Roberson, co-founder and CEO of Refraction AI in a statement. “We’re really happy to provide a safer solution for grocery shopping, especially for the at-risk members of our community. Through this partnership with Produce Station, we’ll be gathering insight and data to further expand our grocery delivery model.”

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Once an order has been placed, customers receive text messages with unique codes that allow them to open REV-1 when it arrives to collect their groceries.

Delivery is available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The service is currently free. Customers can place an order by following the four steps here.

According to the robotics startup, the REV-1 delivery robot is able to hold about six paper bags of groceries at a time. The three-wheeled, battery-powered vehicle is about 100 pounds and moves at speeds of 10 to 15 mph.

In order to remain safe, the company disinfects its delivery robots between uses. Since March the autonomous restaurant delivery service has received three-to-four times as many orders for its restaurant service than it had prior to Michigan’s shelter-in-place restrictions, according to a statement from Refraction AI.

The robotics startup was founded by professors and roboticists at the University of Michigan. Learn more about the company on its website.

Related: WATCH: Ann Arbor food delivery robots busier than ever during COVID-19 pandemic

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