The future is now. Unmanned delivery robots are now permitted to be used on sidewalks and in crosswalks in five U.S. states. So if you live in Ohio, Wisconsin, Idaho, Florida or Virginia, your online food order could soon be delivered to your doorstep by a robot.
Legislation has passed in those five states allowing for the use of delivery robots with the help of Starship Technologies. Starship designs delivery robots specifically to the specifications needed to roam the streets, something its competitors have, so far, failed to do. The robots must weigh less than 90 pounds and travel no more than 10 miles per hour. They can travel unmanned, but a person needs to be on call in case something goes wrong.
The Starship robots weigh 35 pounds, travel four miles per hour, and are basically coolers on wheels.
While the robots are pretty cool and Jetsons-like, pedestrians will need to be careful not to get run over. As much fun as it'd be seeing a robot scooting around town, squished toes aren't so fun.
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Even though they can legally be used, the robots reportedly haven't officially started their delivery service in the U.S. just yet (although some have been spotted in Washington D.C.). Starship launched a testing program for cities in the UK, Germany, and Switzerland, and the goal is to launch a similar program in Florida sometime this year. So until then, your food will continue to be delivered the boring old fashioned way — by humans.