The robots are taking over the Mosaic District.
Starting today (Thursday), a fleet of boxy, self-driving bots will roam around the mixed-use Merrifield neighborhood, delivering food from restaurants in a pilot program by the delivery service Uber Eats and the robotics startup Cartken.
Right now, robot deliveries are available from the family-owned Greek restaurant Our Mom Eugenia, Pupatella Pizza and the Indian fast-casual eatery RASA, but other tenants could be added later. The pilot is slated to run through April 2024.
The Mosaic District is emerging as a prime testing ground for autonomous technology, hosting Fairfax County and Dominion Energy’s Relay shuttle — though the vehicle is currently sidelined by “mechanical issues” through Friday (April 21).
“We are excited to partner with Uber Eats and Cartken to bring cutting-edge technology to our community, and confident this innovative service will elevate visitor experience and customer engagement at Mosaic,” said Greg Dercach, vice president of property management for EDENS, which owns and operates the development.
Uber and Cartken — an Oakland, California-based artificial intelligence company created by former Google engineers — first teamed up to experiment with food delivery robots in the Miami, Florida, area, launching a pilot in December.
The companies chose to introduce the robots to the Mosaic District, their first site in Virginia, because of the development’s walkability and abundance of dining options.
“Uber and Cartken share a vision to provide greater affordability, reliability, and convenience to merchants and consumers — all at the touch of a button,” Noah Zych, Uber’s head of autonomous mobility and delivery, said. “Our expansion to Fairfax is another important step in this journey, bringing Virginia residents a little more Uber magic through sidewalk robot delivery.”
Sporting six wheels and a red flag, the robots are equipped with sensors and cameras that help them navigate and avoid collisions. They can carry 1.5 cubic feet — about two full paper grocery bags — and reach speeds of 3-6 mph, depending on the environment.
They will travel anywhere within the Mosaic District, though residents will have to step outside to pick up their deliveries.
While made by a different company, Cartken’s vehicles will look familiar to anyone who has recently visited George Mason University’s Fairfax campus, where robots from Starship Technology have been delivering food to students since 2019.
Founded in 2019, Cartken has also worked with Grubhub at some college campuses and deployed its robots to make Starbucks deliveries at malls in Japan.
“Our team at Cartken is excited to further partner with Uber Eats and expand our reach to serve the Fairfax community,” Cartken co-founder and COO Anjali Jindal Naik said. “Cartken is at an inflection point, where we are rapidly bringing our AI, computer vision, and lidar-less autonomous robots to more places, like Mosaic District, in partnership with Uber Eats.”
Patrons of the participating Mosaic District restaurants can request a delivery by robot through the Uber Eats app, which allows users to track the vehicle’s route and arrival time. A standard delivery takes 20 to 30 minutes, but there’s a “priority” option that advertises a 15 to 25-minute wait for a $1.49 fee.
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Art House 7 warmly welcomes you to our upcoming Fall 2 session of classes starting on October 30th. We’re thrilled to offer a diverse range of mediums and flexible class lengths, catering to a wide age range, starting from as young as 2, and, of course, providing a multitude of engaging options for adults!
Our classes cover an exciting spectrum of creative mediums, including fiber arts such as knitting, modern embroidery, crochet, and sewing. We also offer classes in ceramics on the wheel, drawing, watercolor, gouache, oil, acrylic, still-life painting, and captivating Japanese Suminagashi and printmaking. One of the highlights of this session is the highly anticipated 5-week “Painting the Portrait and Figure” workshop, led by the renowned local artist, Danni Dawson.
For our younger artists, we have specially designed classes like “Art Exploration through Impressionism” for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, an engaging “Art Together” parent-child class designed for 2–4-year-olds, and a “Teen Taught Art Club” tailored for kindergarteners through 4th graders.
The Ravel Dance Company will present the beloved holiday tradition The Nutcracker. It is Christmas Eve and the Stahlbaum family’s daughter Clara has received a Nutcracker from the mysterious toymaker and godfather Herr Drosselmeyer. Follow her journey through the Pine