Milken Launches Catapult Burrito Delivery Service


Last August, as the strain of quarantine started taking its toll, Milken students started sharing something more than Zoom rooms and isolation – a craving. Under normal circumstances, many students have a daily ritual of buying and eating the Milken Mart burrito, a glorious medley of beans, rice, and cheese, drowning in salsa and finished with hot sauce. With everyone at home, no one could get their burrito fix; that is, until the creation of Milken’s own home delivery system!

It’s called the Mart Integrated Kinetic Energetic Neutralizer, or M.I.L.K.E.N. for short. “It’s really quite simple,” says Ms. Orloff, the M.I.L.K.E.N.’s creator. “You put in your coordinates, order, and time of delivery, into the ‘remote delivery’ tab on myMilken, and we catapult the order right to your house.” That’s right, catapult. The 70-foot contraption, which rests in the now-empty student plaza, can reportedly launch a standard issue 17-ounce burrito well over 3 miles with pinpoint accuracy in around 40 seconds, depending on the distance. 

 “We were sitting around, thinking about how much money we were losing and how much the students were suffering” Orloff recounted. “Then one of us was like, Hey, why not a catapult? In retrospect it’s so obvious, the crazy thing is we didn’t think of it sooner!”

That catapult was built in the Guerin by the Robotics team, where from design to building it took almost 2 weeks to construct. Using a laser guidance system, GPS, and a whole lot of practice, a three-person team can operate the machine, with a rate of 20 BPH (Burritos per hour). 

Now for the real question: how do the burritos keep from being smashed? Before being loaded into the catapult, they’re double tortilla-ed, and have two extra layers of tinfoil added, but the secret is a pair of extra-large Goose feather pillows, sewn together, which act like an extra thick tortilla, cushioning the landing while retaining heat.

You’re probably thinking, ok, what’s the catch? Admittedly, there are some drawbacks. Because of the risk of injury, you must have a $45,000 burrito-landing pad installed on your roof, but with the California sustainability rebate, the cost is halved. Altogether, the catapult’s ultimate goal is to bring a little more of Milken to students stuck at home, a mission it’s more than succeeded in.