Snackbot Delivers Everything Except What College Students Want

Photo: PepsiCo

When you’re hopping around campus on a busy day, you probably don’t have time to seek out a real meal. Maybe there’s a fast food installation between your classes, or maybe you’re relying on granola bars you’ve stuffed in your bag. Since we now live in the future, there could soon be a better solution than hitting up the local cafeteria. Recently tested at the University of the Pacific, the Snackbot is a portable vending machine serving up healthy hits of food to hungry students.

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Created by Robby Technologies and PepsiCo subsidiary Hello Goodness, this Snackbot comes in the same category as the dial-a-taxi and food delivery that college kids use today. The only difference is that Snackbot’s core design lets it hit up students quickly and easily. Just open the app to see what the little rolling trash can is carrying and pick your favorites. This will summon the robot to wherever you’re walking and deliver the goods. One assumes you can also tip the Snackbot, but that might just end up as a surprise for the next customer.

Photo: PepsiCo

One question remains, and it’s how Snackbot or similar robots will fare on campus grounds, especially legacy campuses that don’t have the most robot-friendly sidewalks. For Hello Goodness’ model, they’ve got a camera and headlights onboard standard. The Snackbot rolls through rain and darkness equally well, and even has all-wheel drive to let it navigate up steep surfaces. Best of all, it can go up to 20 miles on a single charge. If we were still in college, we’d definitely be putting that last stat to the test.

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For some, the only real issue with this food-delivering gadget will be its selection. College life is usually a time to make poor decisions, but you won’t find booze or junk food delivery here. Instead, Snackbot is repping baked potato chips, vitamin water, and other “smart” foods. It’s possible that this is just for the test run. After all, promoting healthy choices is great PR in certain circles. We just wouldn’t be surprised if Snackbot’s sleazier cousin were packing Mountain Dew and Doritos in a few years.