Starship technologies delivery robots attract the paparazzi everywhere they go.
These local celebrities are delivering for broad branch Market in Washington DC.
Oh my gosh. Tracy standard is the owner.
This is what I do. They just send me this.
Like I dont have enough videos of the robots, but everybody loves them look how cute there.
The market does not normally deliver, but in March the city issued orders for social distancing to tamp down the spread of the corona virus.
It was getting a little too risky to have so many people in the market because we would get super busy.
We want to keep people outside, and then the bots seemed like a great option.
The robots can carry about nine kilograms and deliver to about a five kilometer radius.Customer Rob Oaken says its good for what would normally be a quick trip to the market.
I love the fact that all come right to my house and that I dont even have to go into the store.
It was actually super easy and it makes it a lot safer to keep social distancing.
Other companies including Kiwi BOTS postmates and of course Amazon are also doing robot deliveries,
but the industry has struggled to make money.
Robotics companies in general are having a hard time,
according to the trade group Silicon Valley robotics managing director Andrew Kay.
Im seeing robotics companies shut down even in the last month but particularly in the last year,
because they were too early for the market.
Where robots are really stepping up is doing dirty and dangerous jobs according to the Association for advancing automation a trade group.
Jeff Bernstein is president.
Disinfected robots were in distance if you right now are in hospital, office or a warehouse.
You probably would like to have a robot to do the disinfecting
so that people dont have to go in there and do that makes it safe before the people come in to work.
Robots are zapping germs in a Belgian hospital and spraying disinfectant in the Hong Kong subway.
Theyre delivering food and medicine in hospitals in India and Thailand so that health workers can keep their distance,
And maybe those are the best places for robots right now,
managing deliveries in the outside world is hard and full of pitfalls.
Sidewalks are tricky but people are trickier.
Itll be easier for the next generation theirs and ours.
Steve Baragona VOA news Washington