An autonomous car can encounter all kinds of things: other cars, people, coyotes, dogs, raccoons, bicyclists, and also … robots. To be precise: delivery robots. In Silicon Valley and in many cities in Europe, they are already a familiar sight. On two, four or even six wheels, they are on the move on the sidewalks, no bigger than a cooler, and bring whatever has been ordered. Lunch from the Greek restaurant around the corner, toilet paper, or even a medicine.
And robotaxis have to be prepared for them and not drive around their smaller counterparts. And that’s exactly what Argo.ai is testing at its proving ground. Igloo, a cooler on four wheels, crosses the streets of the test site in front of the robotaxi, helping it to handle better.
But what happens if a delivery robot actually falls over or gets stuck? Do the delivery robot companies have a team that then goes out and gets the robots upright again? No, said Kiwibot CEO Felipe Chávez Cortés. They don’t have a single person to take care of it, he said, because nearby passersby always immediately rush to the rescue and help the robots.
Not only do humans watch out for robots, but big robots watch out for little ones, too.
This article was also published in German.