DRU Assist FAQ

+ Why have you launched DRU Assist?

Domino’s prides itself on making the ordering experience easier for our customers which is why we have created DRU Assist – a personal assistant for your ordering experience. DRU Assist will be on hand to help place your order through a verbal or text conversation as well as finding great deals, suggesting tasty new products, and answering any questions you may have about Domino’s.

+ How do I get DRU Assist on my phone?

Some lucky users will be able to use DRU Assist once they have downloaded the most recent Apple or Android Domino’s Mobile App. DRU Assist will be available to all customers as a beta from 1 March 2017.

+ Can I use DRU Assist on my desktop?

Currently, customers can chat to DRU using voice conversation inside the Domino’s Ordering App. However, Desktop users can use a chat function to talk to DRU Assist via text.

+ How do I get started?

To use DRU Assist, simply tap on DRU, who is located at the bottom of the screen, to launch the function and get your order started.

+ How does DRU work?

DRU Assist is Domino’s first steps towards conversational commerce using an Artificial Intelligence (AI) program. Just like any new team member, he is in the early stages of training and is learning everything he needs to know about Domino’s, our products and how he can help our customers. DRU Assist will continue to use machine learning technology to become smarter and even more helpful as more and more people interact with him to create their order.

+ Who is the voice of DRU Assist?

DRU’s uses a Text-to-Speech (TTS) voice to drive his conversations with customers, so there is no voice behind the scenes – just DRU!

+ What happens if DRU doesn’t understand me? Will my order still go through?

DRU is still learning so sometimes he won’t be able to understand or process what you have said, however he will always let you know if he needs your help to ask the question again. If he doesn’t understand what you have said more than three times, he will ensure he sends you to the online ordering screen to finalise your order. As with any Domino’s order, you will receive an order confirmation email to confirm the order you have completed.

+ How will DRU know which is my closest store for delivery?

DRU can use your GPS location, if you have given him permission on your phone, to get a delivery to your location. Once you have closed the app, DRU will no longer access your GPS location.

+ Will DRU store any of my payment details?

DRU Assist will not have access to any payment details. Once you have completed your order, he will direct you to the Order Now button, which you will need to press to continue.

+ Does DRU only understand pizza orders?

DRU Assist is a social robot who loves chatting to Domino’s customers and we encourage our customers to try asking DRU Assist the world’s big questions, including “Will You Marry Me?”.


DRU Drone By Flirtey FAQ

+ Why have you launched DRU Assist?

We are committed to introducing drones to our stores as an additional delivery option for our customers. We have had such an increase in the number of deliveries we are currently doing from our stores and see a need for a new method to be added to our delivery systems. We still have a strong need for more delivery experts in our store. We have been working with our partner, Flirtey to ensure we will have the necessary Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approval and are committed to researching the best way to proceed forward for our staff, our products and our customers.

+ Is this Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Approved?

At this stage our partner Flirtey is in the process of gaining the approval to do commercial flights. No commercial flights to customers will take place until the approval process is complete. Stage one is the partnership between Domino’s and Flirtey and stage two will be the CAA approved deliveries, once approval has been given.

+ How does DRU Drone fit in with current delivery options?

We see drone delivery working alongside the current Domino’s delivery options of cars, scooters, e-bikes – and of course our Domino’s Robotic Unit, DRU which we launched in March this year. The drones will be used on deliveries that are deemed suitable and fit within the regulatory approvals. We envisage this to be where customers want their deliveries in the fastest way possible, and also where the distance from the store is greater than a vehicular delivery would be suitable or where there are traffic or geographic restrictions that hinder the quality of a delivery.

+ What stage of development is DRU Drone at?

DRU stands for Domino’s Robotic Unit and is much more than the autonomous delivery vehicle we launched in March. He is the first steps in our journey in the Artificial Intelligence space and will always have a place in the Domino’s delivery solution, however we are committed to bringing new solutions to our business. These new solutions will all be part of our commitment to the DRU family, such as the drones, who will be referred to as DRU DRONE. Our original DRU is still undergoing testing in a semi-autonomous manner. We are committed to progressing his development, however as he was the first in the world of his kind we are discovering new things about him all the time and working with customer’s feedback to make changes and enhancements.

+ What are the proposed timeframes?

Domino’s and Flirtey have invested a great deal of time and energy into this process so far and with CAA approval we are able to plan for the commencement of the trial process scheduled for later this year.

Our initial CAA approved trials of customer deliveries will start with a select product range and within a limited distance for the store. The product options and delivery distance will expand throughout the trial process as we successfully complete each of our steps. The quality of our products arriving to customers safely is our number one priority throughout all stages of testing and launching pizza drone deliveries.

+ What are the steps taken to avoid theft or vandalism?

Flirtey’s staff work with Domino’s team members to safely load the delivery drones at the store. The drones fly autonomously at a safe altitude of approximately 60metres/200ft and the customer is notified as the delivery is approaching. The deliveries are then made to the home of the customer by safely lowering the package out of the air. This process ensures the delivery drones always remain a safe distance from the public. Flirtey also has an inbuilt cutting mechanism so in the event someone tries to pull on the tether to interfere with the drone, it is released automatically and the drone is able to fly away undamaged.

+ How smooth is the flight?

An in-depth trial process over an extended period will ensure we design a system that allows for all of our products. This is part of the quality standards testing we will be undertaking during our trial phase. Delivering the pizzas in the same quality they came out of the oven in the store and arrived to the customer’s door is paramount and is fundamental to the success of the drone delivery.

+ How will quality be monitored?

The trial process has been designed to thoroughly test the quality of the product and ensure our high standards have been met. We will be starting with smaller distances to previously identified customers that allow us to thoroughly determine that the quality of our product is high and our health and safety regulations have been met. We will also work closely with customers to get their feedback throughout every stage just as we are doing with DRU – the Domino’s Robotic Unit in Australia.

+ Is there any information on what happens with a malfunction – does this go back to the store?

There are various contingency plans in place depending on the location of the drone and type of malfunction. For example, the drone may return to the store or conduct a safe landing in a pre-designated landing area. The trial process will allow us to identify the best scenario for our particular business needs.

+ How is it confirmed the order is received by the right person?

During the initial phases of the trial we are only delivering directly to the customer’s home and the customer is notified as the delivery is arriving. As we scale operations, we may integrate various methods of verification including capturing an image of the recipient and/or using smartphone-based methods of validation. This will be a key part of the design process and we will be able to take key learnings from our other Robotic Units as to what the best solution for our customers.

+ Are the deliveries with a drone weather dependent?

Yes, during the initial phases of the trial, we will deliver in calm weather conditions, with reduced operations during high winds and rains and traditional delivery methods will be available as a backup for customer delivery in these instances. It is paramount to us that safety is taken into consideration at all times, this includes our customers receiving the orders and the general public. We will be testing the limits of our delivery process throughout the trial in a controlled test situation, and it may turn out that some areas are more suitable for a drone delivery than others. This information is exactly what we hope to learn from the trial phase.

+ What is required at the store level for a drone to be loaded and released?

Initially, trained Domino’s team members will provide the customer and order information to Flirtey (including order composition, customer location and where relevant customer phone number), package the order, and then hand the package to Flirtey staff to load the drone. Once this is out of the trial phase and working, we will have trained drone specialist staff within each store.

+ What land area / clearance is needed for a drone to be released?

There are various considerations that are required to determine if a store is valid. The in-depth trial phase that is proposed will help us identify how we turn our theory into practice. As operations scale over time, we will work with our partner Flirtey and continue to gain the necessary regulatory approvals to increase the number of eligible stores.

+ What speed and range can the drones go to?

During the initial phases of the trial, our drones will operate at approximately 30km/h and at an initial radius of 1.5km from select stores. As we work with Flirtey to expand regulatory approvals, this radius will increase incrementally up to approximately 10km from select stores.

+ What are the requirements for a Drone around 3G/4G or satellite connectivity?

We require reliable GPS and prefer to be in range of 3G/4G network (although this is not a functional requirement). We are working with our existing GPS partner, Navman, to integrate into our existing system to offer a seamless experience for our customers.

+ Will these have security features on them?

Safety of both the customer and public is paramount as with DRU. Therefore, Flirtey drones use military grade autopilot technology and encrypted communications.

+ Will these have cameras on them?

Our partner, Flirtey, has worked with the office of the Privacy Commissioner in New Zealand and actively participated in developing Voluntary Best Practices for UAS Privacy, Transparency and Accountability in collaboration with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the United States.

+ How close can the drones work to an Airport?

The use of a drone for a delivery in close proximity to an airport will be decided on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with CAA and safety is paramount in all our operations.


+ Who is DRU?

DRU is Domino’s newest team member. He is also an autonomous delivery vehicle purposely built by Domino’s in collaboration with Marathon Robotics to deliver piping hot pizzas and icy cold drinks to customers. DRU stands for Domino’s Robotic Unit.

+ Why has Domino’s developed DRU?

Domino’s is committed to designing and developing industry leading technology that actively helps our customers, franchisees and our business. Our research shows that autonomous vehicles are the future of delivery and Domino’s as a leader in the technology and delivery industries wanted to design a specialised bot that suited Domino’s business requirements. Domino’s has always aimed to build forward thinking products and services for customers.

+ How long has DRU been in development?

DRU has been on the Domino’s wish list for some time but the project had always been moon shot thinking. With the recent introduction of a dedicated innovation lab at Domino’s (DLAB) and a team of researchers, inventors and commercialisation experts, we have managed to accelerate the idea to reality. With the Australian start-up community maturing significantly over the past couple of years, we have been able to partner with Australian based companies that are doing exciting and innovative things in this space whilst matching the Domino’s culture of forward thinking such as Marathon Robotics. These partnerships have accelerated development times significantly without impacting quality control.

+ Where can DRU travel?

DRU can travel wherever the terrain is suitable such as footpaths, trails and roads. At this stage the limitations to where DRU is able to go is more legislative restrictions rather than physical. This is why we are working so closely with the Queensland Department of Transport of Main Roads (TMR) to identify how we can safely allow DRU to utilise roads and footpaths without jeopardising the safety of pedestrians, cyclists or DRU. In the first instance, we envisage DRU to use footpaths at a safe walking speed in semi-autonomous mode i.e he is partially remote controlled. While autonomous drones and cars still need to pass a number of regulatory hurdles and challenges before they’re delivering pizza on Australian streets, DRU shows that Domino’s is actively engaged in the field and working with regulators on the future commercialisation of such technology.

+ What does a DRU Delivery mean for the customer?

DRU will transport a customer’s order from a starting point to their address via a set route. Once at the address a customer is required to come out to the kerb side to meet DRU and collect their order. He absolutely loves meeting people and we encourage our customers to engage with DRU as they would one of our delivery experts.

+ How do you keep the food hot and cold during the delivery?

DRU has custom-built hot and cold food compartments within his casing that lift up and present the order to the customer on arrival. In working prototypes of DRU, the temperatures of the units will be monitored on board to ensure that food arrives at optimum heating and cooling levels for food safety. The compartments are able to be removed for thorough cleaning and disinfecting to ensure it meets food service hygiene requirements.

+ How many pizzas can DRU deliver at once?

DRU can carry up to ten pizzas on a delivery or a variety of combinations of pizzas, sides and cold drinks or dessert products.

+ How fast will DRU travel?

The speed at which DRU can travel is dependent on the terrain he is travelling on. For example, DRU will travel at a safe walking speed on the footpaths whilst doing deliveries. DRU is able to accelerate to a faster speed should he need to access a road or drive faster due to his surroundings. At all times his speed will be controlled within his environment.

+ How far can DRU travel in KM’s?

With his current prototype battery, DRU can travel up to about 20Kms before he needs to return to base and recharge.

+ What is DRU built from?

DRU’s motorised base and software has been used for other purposes and in other industries for several years so this technology is tried and tested. The technology has been reapplied to create DRU and he is made fit for purpose for the Domino’s business and industry needs. DRU is a customised vehicle with each piece, apart from his base that has been used and tested for several years, has been specially designed and individually manufactured. DRU’s outer shell was designed and manufactured in about eight weeks with a team of industrial designers, mechanical and electrical engineers and branding experts. We’ve partnered with one of Australia’s leading Industrial Design teams at Design + Industry, based in Sydney.

+ Does DRU work in adverse weather conditions?

DRU will be designed to be completely water tight and weather proof and can therefore work in adverse weather without compromising the integrity of our products. The safety of our delivery experts is our number one priority so it’s important to us to ensure that DRU doesn’t deliver in unsafe conditions such as lightning or flooding.

+ How is he powered?

DRU runs on a rechargeable battery system for his working prototype. Over time, we expect that DRU will have a much cleaner, and longer lasting energy source. Early investigations are already underway for options around solar and other more friendly renewable, self-charging options. For now, DRU is reliant on the grid

+ How does DRU know when to stop/prevent collisions?

DRU has an inbuilt LIDAR sensory system that can determine when there are obstacles which may prevent him from travelling on the original path. DRU will then seek out an alternative path if there is an obstruction.

LIDAR is a surveying technology that measures distance by illuminating its surroundings with a laser light. DRU also uses sensors that detect obstructions at close range, so he knows how to avoid these objects. Once he starts to follow that path, he uses the LIDAR to see his active environment, and the sensors to stop him from bumping into things.

+ How long until DRU is delivering to customers?

The development of DRU is just the first step in a long journey to discover the possibilities of autonomous delivery vehicles. We are working with various departments of Transport across Australia, New Zealand and Europe to help understand what direction regulation is moving, and also to help guide it knowing what the benefits are of these vehicles. We don’t have an exact date for roll out of a fully operational system beyond trials, due to some of the legislative limitations in place today.
However, Domino’s has a strong intention to be one of the first to move the industry forward.

+ How will it affect delivery jobs within Domino’s?

We welcome DRU into the team as we do with any new member – however DRU is still yet to fully master our war cry! We are always looking for top quality Delivery Experts and hope that DRU will encourage more applications for even more great delivery experts.

+ Can customers choose to have DRU deliver to them as opposed to Domino’s staff member?

As we roll out a full implementation of DRU, our customers will be able to choose if they wish for DRU to deliver to them personally, or whether they would like to adopt for a more traditional delivery method.

+ How do you confirm the order has been received by the right person?

If DRU is selected as a customer’s delivery expert the customer will receive a text by mobile with a dedicated code which unlocks DRU’s order when he arrives, and releases the compartment that contains the order.

+ When will DRU take to the streets?

DRU needs to pass through a number of trials that are acceptable by the various state and federal legislative bodies that regulate footpaths and road usage. While DRU technically is ready for deployment, there is more that needs to be done in regards to public policy before he’s fully deployed and operating out of stores on a regular basis. That time frame is unknown and will vary country by country. We have already been using DRU for some pre-approved orders through the testing phase and the customers loved meeting him.