Virginia becomes the first state to permit delivery robots on sidewalks and crosswalks

By Shawn Knight ยท 6 replies
Mar 2, 2017
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  1. Virginia has become the first state in the US to permit delivery robots to traverse its sidewalks and crosswalks, thus opening the door for all sorts of innovation in the unmanned delivery space.

    The legislation, sponsored by lawmakers Ron Villanueva and Bill DeSteph, was drafted with the help of robotics delivery company Starship Technologies. It was signed into law last Friday and goes into effect July 1 according to Re/code.

    As per the legislation, ground-based delivery robots must keep their speed under 10 miles per hour and cannot exceed 50 pounds in weight. What’s more, unlike aerial drones, they aren’t required to operate within line-of-sight of a human operator although they must be supervised remotely.

    Villanueva told the publication that they didn’t experience pushback from legislators. Instead, it was more like intrigue and curiosity about the technology, what the application would be and how it would benefit citizens, he said.

    Although Starship Technologies helped with the legislation, companies like Amazon and Grubhub also reportedly sent letters of support in hopes of getting the law passed.

    It’s worth noting that local city councils will have some say in the matter. For example, they can impose a lower speed limit or ban robotic deliveries entirely if they become a nuisance.

    Florida and Idaho look to be the next states in line to pass similar legislation.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Jeff Re

    Jeff Re TS Enthusiast Posts: 40   +13

    This is how it begins...
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,355   +2,005

    Kind of cute, of course I want to see how it handles rain, heavy traffic, pitt bulls, children that just want to play with it ..... and a thief with a fire axe ......... just saying ......
  4. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +680

    10mph? Um, aren't cars, trucks and bikes faster?
    You're still using someone to monitor the bot, so why can't that person just deliver it themselves?
    I'm gonna keep my eye on this to see where it goes.
  5. MannerMauler

    MannerMauler TS Addict Posts: 183   +44

    One thing I worry about, crosswalks, good place for these things to get run over. They're short and the color white doesn't exactly draw the eye.
    Reehahs likes this.
  6. andrewdoyle88

    andrewdoyle88 TS Booster Posts: 114   +96

    When it's driving along does it keep repeating "CONSUME" in a robot voice?
  7. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 575   +316

    He can be at more than one place at the same time.

    They might fit them with flashing blue lights after first few fer overrun or...

    ... this.

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