It appears that robots don’t necessarily take the yellow caution tape seriously.
A food delivery robot in Los Angeles is shown in a video posted online on Tuesday walking over police tape and into a crime scene. The robotic courier’s company and whether it was delivering a test delivery or a real one to a client are unclear.
The two videos show the robot nearing the first line of caution tape, where journalists appear to be stationed to cover the ongoing crime scene. A camera person can be seen laughing as another raises the yellow tape to allow the robot to pass beneath it.
A group of law enforcement officers can be seen observing the robot after it crosses the roadway.
Someone can be heard on the video stating, “It’s so funny looking at the cops looking at that thing.” Another asked whether there was a bomb in the robot, but there didn’t seem to be one.
In the video, the courier can be seen scooting up the sidewalk away from the crime scene.
As food-delivery apps have increased in popularity in recent years, so have robotic riders equipped with food-delivery compartments.
Starship Technologies is one of the largest participants in the autonomous-delivery sector, and Uber said in May that it would begin testing delivery food to customers’ homes using robots in Los Angeles.
The judgment is yet out on how people will react to robots walking beside them on city sidewalks. In 2018, Ahti Heinla, co-founder of Starship Technologies, told Insider that some individuals were kicking the company’s robots.
“Some people pass our robot and kick it a little,” Heinla explained in 2018. “I don’t believe that’s an issue; if humans have such anger management skills, that’s fine by us; our robot just drives on.”