People Are Kicking Food Delivery Robots

While attackers can be easily identified, solutions are being created to prevent abuse

lempert report

Geek.com reported that autonomous food delivery robots are reportedly being abused.

Starship Technologies recently told Business Insider that folks are kicking their mini meals-on-wheels machines.

“Some people pass our robot and kick [it] a little bit,” co-founder Ahti Heinla admitted to the news site.

“That’s not really a problem, I think,” he continued. “If people have such anger management techniques that’s fine by us, our robot just drives on.”

Introduced three years ago by two former Skype creators, Starship’s on-demand dispatchers aim to eliminate the cost, waiting time and environmental impact of local drop-offs—in this case, food.

For the firm’s first major demonstration in the U.S., employees on Intuit’s Mountain View campus can now order meals, snacks or drinks for delivery anywhere on the 4.3-acre grounds. Here’s where the attackers are a bit, well, let’s say it, stupid: Starship’s machines are equipped with nine cameras, sirens and tracking “to within an inch,” so to identify these robot attackers is pretty simple.

How would you like that on your "record," robot abuser?

There is hope: An international team of researchers recently developed Shelly, a turtle-like cyborg designed to teach kids not to abuse androids. The tortoise-shaped toy is fun to play with, lighting up and dancing—until someone presses too hard or whacks it. Sensing danger, the creature’s head, arms and legs retreat into its shell, hiding until it feels safe to come out again.

As we get more technologically advanced, we must be sure that our humanistic traits remain.


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