Now, even the pizza delivery guy may not be safe from the iron clutches of remote controlled machines. A new bill just passed in Virginia that allows robots to deliver to your home starting in July. The two Virginia lawmakers who sponsored it, Ron Villanueva and Bill DeSteph, liaised with robotics company Starship Technologies to draft the legislation. These wheel clad roadsters aren’t speed demons though, as they can only travel ten miles per hour and can’t carry payloads exceeding fifty pounds. They still are autonomous, to a point, as a person somewhere would be monitoring their attached cameras remotely.
If a technological error occurs, a person would be able to take over the robot and pilot it if necessary. So for now, humans remain mostly in control. It’s kind of surprising though, considering a bunch of Virginian lawmakers don’t seem like the crowd you would expect to pass something like this. Villanueva told Recode that instead of antipathy, “It was more like intrigue and curiosity about the technology, what the application would be, how it would benefit the citizens.”
Also of note is that Starship Technologies, the company that liaised with lawmakers, will not be the sole beneficiary of the legislation. Other robotics companies are able to do the same, so the techno-monopoly hasn’t yet taken hold. Starship’s tech is already being field tested in D.C. and Redwood City, CA, and will likely soon follow in Virginia.
Another day, another way the robots soon hope to conquer the world.