Uber has split the robotics arm of Postmates, the home meal delivery platform it acquired last summer, to create a new independent company, called Serve Robotics, specializing in city delivery robots, according to a statement from the new company released Tuesday.
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These self-contained carts, yellow with big wheels and big light-up eyes, deliver take-out meals to consumers.
The existing fleet
"has already proven its viability by serving thousands of households in Los Angeles and was especially useful during the pandemic since deliveries are without contact"
with other people, details the press release.
Serve Robotics has raised funding from venture capital fund Neo, with participation from Uber and other investors.
The amount was not disclosed.
Difficult year for Uber
Uber is going through a difficult patch due to health restrictions, and has begun to refocus on passenger errands and meal deliveries.
The company has therefore separated from other non-core operations, such as its Jump e-bike fleets, which were sold to Lime last year.
Serve Robotics is betting on opportunities for its robots as the pandemic popularized meal orders.
In particular, the company points out that half of restaurant deliveries take place within a 40-minute walk of their destination.
“Over the next two decades, mobile robots will penetrate all aspects of our lives, first for food, then everything else,”
said Ali Kashani, co-founder and boss of the new company.