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Engineers are scratching heads over vandalism of food delivery robots

Engineers are scratching heads over vandalism of food delivery robots
Engineers are scratching heads over vandalism of food delivery robots

Delivery robots are trained to transport food, groceries, and packages within minutes to parts of England, California, and even Tallinn in Estonia.

Starship is one of the world’s leading food delivery robot solutions. It has completed over 5 million autonomous deliveries and thousands of Starship delivery robots are operating globally every day. In 2019 the company expanded its fleet of robots to colleges across the US.

It’s currently expanding to more areas and colleges in the US. Unfortunately, vandals and opportunists have damaged the robots in some instances. In some communities, people stepped on the robot and forcibly opened it to remove the transported items.

What a waste of food and business

Interesting Engineering is reporting on the impact the vandalism has on companies that oversee the robots. It means less business partnerships and it leaves restaurants and grocery stores having to replace customers’ orders. 

Serve Robots is known as one of the most popular autonomous delivery vehicles in West Hollywood, with a 99% delivery success rate.  

Robots and humans go head-on-head

Starship has now put stricter measures in place to counter attempts to damage its expensive robots. If someone tries to block the robot, it will maneuver around them. When the situation gets out of control, an alarm is triggered in the device to report these incidents. Starship robots are equipped with cameras to protect them and identify any offenders.

Engineers are still hard at work to find solutions to combat these malicious acts on robots, but the question arises whether hefty fines can serve as a deterrent. There are those who are arguing that the laws around public violence and property damage are enough. Some recon it’s only a matter of enforcing those bylaws more consistently. 

Autonomous food delivery expands at rapid rate

As more delivery companies make use of robots, like Bolt, which recently announced its partnership with Starship in Talinn, safety questions emerge. 

It now becomes a question of which regions and countries would be more receptive to the new technology infiltrating the delivery space?

Just this month Starship expanded its service to Kanas in the US. It launched its robot delivery service at seven campuses at Wichita State University. 

Using the delivery app, integrated with student cards or on credit, students can even watch the robot en route via an interactive map. Only a person with access to the app and the order can open the door of the robot. 

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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