Robots to deliver food orders on Miami University campus

OXFORD — Miami University has announced it is offering Miamians a unique dining experience through Bell Tower, which is located at 401 E. High St. in Oxford.

Bell Tower is offering on-the-go options with three “ghost kitchens,” or versatile kitchens that allow Bell Tower “to cater to the ever-evolving culinary desires and preferences of the Miami community.”

Those who order will access the Grubhub App or visit one of the Grubhub kiosks within Bell Tower.

“Once you’ve placed your order, our team will carefully prepare your meal and store it in a food locker. Retrieving your food is effortless. Just use your mobile device to easily locate and unlock the designated locker,” states a release from Miami University. Students can also use their “meal swipes” to order.

Meals ordered through the GrubHub app will be delivered on campus by a Starship autonomous robot. Miami University is one of nearly 25 schools nationwide with Starship delivery.

“The delivery robots are battery powered with a charge that lasts a full day. At the end of each day, the units will return to a centralized hub for charging before returning the next morning to Bell Tower.

“Each delivery unit is also equipped with an alarm and a GPS for tracking. The robot can only be unlocked by its patron through the Grubhub app upon meeting its destination and can be tracked by phone. Users will pick up their delivery in front of a building or at a designated outdoor space.” the university said.

Bell Tower’s three ghost kitchen concepts are southwest, grill and Asian cuisines and they are available via delivery or in a pick-up locker.

“Ghost kitchens, which are contactless mobile ordering dining options, help eliminate long lines for time-consuming orders. Students with Diplomat meal plans can use their meal swipes to purchase to-go combos,” Miami’s release said.

Amanda Casey, director of dining services, said “It’s all about staying ahead of the curve and providing a fresh and exciting approach to dining.”

The ghost kitchen concept also allows Bell Tower to easily change concepts and adapt to the preferences of the Miami community.

Bell Tower will be open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Starship delivery will match those hours.

Miami’s Finance and Business Services Marketing, along with the Planning, Architecture, and Engineering department, played a prominent role in the development of the interior design, branding and environmental graphics with CR Architects within Bell Tower, the school said.

“A wall mural tells the story of how the food being served is brought to Miami in various aspects of the food preparation and production,” Miami said in its news release.

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