CLOSE

Domino's Introduces Driverless Pizza Delivery Droid in New Zealand

Domino’s Pizza has raised the bar for cutting-edge pizza delivery technology. The company’s newest venture is a small, four-wheeled driverless droid called Domino's Robotic Unit, or DRU, which is being rolled out for test trials throughout New Zealand.

The autonomous pizza delivery vehicle is only three feet tall and can travel in a 12.5-mile radius before it needs to return to its base store for recharging. To avoid obstacles on sidewalks and roads, the droid uses onboard sensors and cameras. DRU has cold bays for soda and heated compartments that can hold up to 10 pizzas, which customers can access with a special code they're given once an order is placed.

In early 2015, Domino’s New Zealand and Australia worked together on designing DRU, which has an estimated cost of $30,000 per unit. Military contractors Marathon Robotics created the driverless vehicle and its software for the Australian army; Domino’s later commissioned the technology for commercial use for their stores. 

"DRU is cheeky and endearing and we are confident that one day he will become an integral part of the Domino’s family," the chain's New Zealand general manager Scott Bush told the AFP. "He's a road to the future and one that we are very excited about exploring further."

The DRU is the latest effort from Domino’s to streamline the pizza ordering process. Recently, the fast food giant teamed with Amazon.com for quick pizza ordering through the Amazon Echo voice assistant device, allowing hungry customers to order items from their “Easy Order” list by just saying “I Want a Pizza." 

[h/t Time]    

nextArticle.image_alt|e
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
arrow
History
Photo of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, Purchased for $10, Could Be Worth Millions
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Several years ago, Randy Guijarro paid $2 for a few old photographs he found in an antiques shop in Fresno, California. In 2015, it was determined that one of those photos—said to be the second verified picture ever found of Billy the Kid—could fetch the lucky thrifter as much as $5 million. That story now sounds familiar to Frank Abrams, a lawyer from North Carolina who purchased his own photo of the legendary outlaw at a flea market in 2011. It turns out that the tintype, which he paid $10 for, is thought to be an image of Billy and Pat Garrett (the sheriff who would eventually kill him) taken in 1880. Like Guijarro’s find, experts say Abrams’s photo could be worth millions.

The discovery is as much a surprise to Abrams as anyone. As The New York Times reports, what drew Abrams to the photo was the fact that it was a tintype, a metal photographic image that was popular in the Wild West. Abrams didn’t recognize any of the men in the image, but he liked it and hung it on a wall in his home, which is where it was when an Airbnb guest joked that it might be a photo of Jesse James. He wasn’t too far off.

Using Google as his main research tool, Abrams attempted to find out if there was any famous face in that photo, and quickly realized that it was Pat Garrett. According to The New York Times:

Then, Mr. Abrams began to wonder about the man in the back with the prominent Adam’s apple. He eventually showed the tintype to Robert Stahl, a retired professor at Arizona State University and an expert on Billy the Kid.

Mr. Stahl encouraged Mr. Abrams to show the image to experts.

William Dunniway, a tintype expert, said the photograph was almost certainly taken between 1875 and 1880. “Everything matches: the plate, the clothing, the firearm,” he said in a phone interview. Mr. Dunniway worked with a forensics expert, Kent Gibson, to conclude that Billy the Kid and Mr. Garrett were indeed pictured.

Abrams, who is a criminal defense lawyer, described the process of investigating the history of the photo as akin to “taking on the biggest case you could ever imagine.” And while he’s thrilled that his epic flea market find could produce a major monetary windfall, don’t expect to see the image hitting the auction block any time soon. 

"Other people, they want to speculate from here to kingdom come,” Abrams told The New York Times of how much the photo, which he has not yet had valuated, might be worth. “I don’t know what it’s worth. I love history. It’s a privilege to have something like this.”

[h/t: The New York Times]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
arrow
quiz
Name the TV Titles Based on Their Antonyms

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios