Domino's Pizza has developed what it describes as "the world's first autonomous pizza delivery vehicle" – a robot named DRU that it plans to test in New Zealand.

DRU (Domino's Robotic Unit) was unveiled in a YouTube video and blog post late last week from Domino's Australia, which developed the prototype.

On Friday, the government of New Zealand confirmed to Agence France-Presse that it was working with Domino's to start testing the technology, although no start date has been set.

The four-wheeled robot, about the size of an electric wheelchair, is designed to navigate and drive itself on the sidewalk "at a safe speed" from the store to the customer's door, using sensors to avoid obstacles.

Its flat, black, face-like front and widely-spaced eye-like headlights have led some commentators to say it looks a bit like the robot EVE in the Pixar movie WALL-E.

The video shows DRU making its first delivery on March 8. When it arrives, its roof slides up like an elevator to provide access to the pizza and drinks in separate hot and cold compartments inside.

DRU delivery

The video shows DRU making its first delivery on March 8. When it arrives, its roof slides up like an elevator to provide access to the pizza and drinks in separate hot and cold compartments inside. (Domino's/YouTube)

The base unit for DRU was sourced from the military, and its technology was developed by the Australian startup Marathon Robotics, Domino's said.

This isn't the first time rumours of a pizza delivery robot have surfaced from Domino's – Domino's U.K. made a similar "announcement" on April Fool's Day last year.