A unique food delivery robot is on campus at Brigham Young University (BYU). The robot is a collaboration between Professor Benjamin Terry of BYU and a robotics startup called CAYTU Robotics.
The unique twist to these robots is that they will be controlled by operators sitting in a country far away on the continent of Africa.
CAYTU Robotics, based in Dakar, Senegal, is a startup founded by a team of African engineers which is using cutting-edge technology to enable remote control of robots from anywhere in the world.
The launch of CAYTU’s delivery pilot with BYU is a significant milestone for the startup. The robots will be used to deliver food from various campus dining locations directly to students and staff.
The service is expected to be highly popular, especially during peak mealtimes when students wish to avoid the busy dining experience. In the first phase of the rollout, a selected beta group of students will be able to place their orders through the CAYTU app, and have their food delivered by the robots.
Sidy Ndao, CAYTU co-founder and CEO, says: “One of the most exciting aspects of CAYTU’s technology is its ability to enable remote control of robots from literally anywhere in the world.”
The operators who will control the robots at BYU are based in Dakar, Senegal, a country that has had a resurgence in the development of high tech startups in recent years.
The operators use advanced software and control systems to guide the robots through the campus, avoiding obstacles and ensuring timely and efficient delivery of food.
Prof. Terry’s involvement in the project brings an added layer of academic value to the launch. As a robotics professor, Professor Terry is using the data collected from the robots’ delivery operations to better understand human-robot interactions.
By studying how the robots navigate the campus, interact with students and staff, and perform their delivery tasks, Prof. Terry and his team seek to gain valuable insights into the design and functionality of autonomous robots.
CAYTU is backed by investors Wuri Ventures and Orange Senegal.
Tijan Watt, partner, Wuri Ventures, says: “Africa has so many talented people in the diaspora returning to their home countries and bringing their technical skills back home. Sidy is a multiple patent holder and strong innovator with whom we are thrilled to be able to partner.
“His experience as a leader in Robotics across the African continent through the Pan-African Robotics Competition over the past five years has supported the idea that he is uniquely suited to launch a robotics company. This signals the promise of African participation in deep technology development which is a focus of our investing at Wuri Ventures.”
CAYTU’s work with BYU is just the beginning for the startup. The company has ambitious plans to expand its services to other universities and campuses around the world, with the ultimate goal of creating a global network of autonomous delivery robots that can be controlled by operators sitting in this small African nation, providing valuable high tech jobs and enabling greater levels of African participation in Robotics and AI.
The introduction of CAYTU’s food delivery robots at BYU is a testament to the power of innovative technology and cross-cultural collaboration.
As the startup continues to grow and expand its services, it has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about food delivery, logistics, human-robot interactions, and the future of work.