Amazon has developed a robot to deliver packages, Virginia's legislature recently passed a bill to allow these delivery robots in Virginia

KSweeley

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,166
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Amazon has developed a robot to deliver packages, on February 25th, the Virginia legislature passed a bill to allow these delivery robots in Virginia. It's also reported that Virginia became the very first U.S. state to allow these robotic package delivery vehicles and that FedEx has their own package delivery robot:



February 25, 2020

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) package delivery robots could soon hit Virginia's sidewalks and roadways.

The state's General Assembly has made quick work of a bill that would clear the way for Scout, Amazon's six-wheeled delivery robot, to operate in the commonwealth. The legislation was adopted by the House of Delegates Tuesday by an 88-12 vote. It unanimously cleared the Senate Feb. 11.

Minor differences between the House and Senate versions will have to be worked out in committee before the bill heads to Gov. Ralph Northam for his signature.

Under the bill adopted by the House, the robots would be allowed to travel on sidewalks or on the shoulder of a maximum 25 mph road if a sidewalk isn't available and the bot's movement doesn't disrupt traffic. The House bill also removes these robots from a list of motorized-wheeled contraptions — like scooters, skateboards or electric bicycles — that city and county governments are allowed to ban from sidewalks and crosswalks.

The localities and the Commonwealth Transportation Board, which regulates and funds state transportation projects, would also be prohibited from banning Scout from these roads, per the bill, but they could "adopt additional requirements designed to maintain safety."

The legislation was introduced earlier this month by Sen. David Marsden, D-Burke, who said during a subcommittee meeting it was "brought to us by our friends at Amazon."

Virginia was the first state to allow these "personal delivery devices." That law — which allowed robots of no more than 50 pounds to cruise sidewalks at about 10 mph — seemed tailored for Starship Technologies, which praised its passage at the time. The San Francisco-based Starship also has permission to make deliveries in D.C.

The House version of the new bill would allow robots weighing up to 500 pounds to move at the same speed, up from 200 pounds in Marsden's original. During public testimony, Moore said that Amazon's Scout weighed about 100 pounds. The weight increase was a move by legislators to allow other companies to operate heavier robots.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) lobbyist Duple Travillion publicly endorsed the bill with that weight amendment. The Memphis, Tennessee-based logistics company has its own SameDay Bot, which it introduced a month after Amazon's.

The robot bill has met little resistance, though Del. Danica Roem, D-Manassas, did vote against it in subcommittee, in committee and on the floor of the House. Roem acknowledged the legislation was likely to become law, but she would have preferred the robots be more limited in their top speed. Washington state, she noted, set the max speed at 6 mph.
"I recommended that we have it at 7 miles per hour during the subcommittee," Roem said. "When you are dealing with objects that are several hundred pounds and they are moving on their own, slower is better."
 
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Fat4all

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
34,458
here
*looks into crystal ball*

someones gonna vandalize it by sticking a bunch of dildos all over it
 

Cation

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
1,834
I hope it works. Amazon delivery people in philly are shit. So lazy and don’t even put mail in the right spot.

It actually pisses me off cause I don’t wanna file “it didn’t come” when it got stolen cause of some dumbass delivery driver putting it on the street of my apartment complex and not in the mail room.
 

gforguava

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,046
So this only works if someone is home to pick it up from the robot?
  • Orders something from Amazon
  • Order gets put into Amazon robot
  • Robot goes to my house
  • I'm not home
  • Robot wastes everyone's time?
 

low-G

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,164
Guessing these things don’t get off the sidewalk and go on the road if say a small child or someone in a wheelchair is approaching.

also the real thing can operate 10 times faster than that demo video.
 

raYne_07

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,891
Yeah, doubt they will make it to their location
"Your package could not be delivered because our robot was pushed over by a 14 year old."

So this only works if someone is home to pick it up from the robot?
  • Orders something from Amazon
  • Order gets put into Amazon robot
  • Robot goes to my house
  • I'm not home
  • Robot wastes everyone's time?
This. And what happens if I live in an area where it snows? Or I'm in the middle of nowhere? Or it's larger or multiple items? Obviously it's for certain specific things in specific areas.
 
Oct 26, 2017
11,671
I don't think these things will be roaming too far from an individual overseeing them. They aren't going to drive 10km on sidewalks all the way to their destination and then go back. Doesn't seem feasible atm tech wise for automated driving. I suspect they're just dropped off like a cluster of ants in an area, they all go to their destination, then report back to the truck that dropped them off.

However, if they're treking through cities and suburban areas all by themselves for kilometers at a time then someone's going to be the first in history to abduct a robot.
 

BDS

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,925
Delivery robots like these (operated by Starship, mentioned in the article) deliver food at my college campus. I don't know how something like this works on a larger scale without the robots being destroyed or robbed constantly.
 

Vylder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,173
Let me see..

These robots will get vandalized so they will eventually end up having guns to defend themselves because well, it's America.
 

Volimar

volunteer forum janitor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,019
Give it sad eyes and people will be volunteering to protect them.
 

TheZynster

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,629
amazon drivers can't follow direction and use the correct door.......this thing will realize im never home to receive that package and just drop it outside in the middle of the apartment parking lot lol
 

Schreckstoff

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,324
wasn't there a case where robots like these were remote control from an outsourced workplace instead of autonomous?
 

Heraldic

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
678
The first laborer robots before they become self aware and begin to organize demanding rights. I love it. I’m ready for advanced AI.
 

Mr.Awesome

Banned
Nov 4, 2017
2,295
I saw the title and thought, holy shit amazon with silicon valley's finest is about to take every delivery job overnight and then eventually every other job too.

I watched the video and thought, lmfao wtf is amazon doing promoting 30 year old tech?
 
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mhayes86

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,895
Virginia
Can it traverse stairs or should I expect it to dump my delivery in the parking lot? Being in the US, there won't be any neighbors willing to take the package in for me.