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Snackbot is a mobile autonomous robot, intended for both fully autonomous and semi-autonomous operation, built by an interdisciplinary team at Carnegie Mellon University. Snackbot has two jobs. One job is to serve as a research platform for projects in robotics, design, and behavioral science. We welcome new partners orsponsors for this work. Snackbot’s other job is to serve snacks.

Snackbot is a mobile robot, about the size of a very small human, that rolls around on wheels, and will be delivering snacks to students, faculty, and office workers at Carnegie Mellon University. A Snackbot research team of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates from more than three departments at Carnegie Mellon created Snackbot as a platform for studying human-robot interaction in the real world.

Snackbot is meant as an ongoing platform for research. The Snackbot will support research into robust autonomous operation in office environments. Our efforts range from multi-sensor fusion algorithms for perception, reasoning about dynamic spaces,communicating with people through verbal and non-verbal mechanisms, and planning with incomplete information.

The research will allow the robot to navigate through congested areas in a socially acceptable fashion, detect individual people moving near the robot, recognize when someone that the robot knows approaches it, and autonomously learn to recognize new objects. Snackbot will support research in the fields of design and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) on using sound, motion, and form for human-robot interaction. Snackbot will support behavioral science research on such topics as personalization and people’s relationships with interactive objects, and research on snack services drawn from behavioral economics.


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