WATCH: Why delivery robots might never come to SA!?

2017-12-07 15:30
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Cape Town — Robots and artificial technology continue to add ease and convenience in our everyday lives.

Now, the US has ruled that delivery robots in San Francisco will need permits before they can roam city sidewalks under legislation approved by city supervisors.

San Francisco has struggled to regulate hometown startups that grew too popular, including short-term vacation rental platform Airbnb and ride-hailing service Uber.  Supervisor Norman Yee proposed an outright ban on delivery robots but settled on a permitting system. The supervisors approved it Tuesday.

A maximum of nine "autonomous delivery devices" may be allowed at any time in the city.

ALSO SEE: South Korea debuts the future of airport robotic help for travellers

The rules state robots can't go more than 3 miles per hour (4.8 kilometres per hour) and human operators must be nearby. The robots must yield to pedestrians. The cyber-courier is powered by batteries and, in order to navigate autonomously, uses nine cameras, various sensors and GPS technology.

Chief executives for autonomous delivery companies Starship Technologies, Marble and Postmates submitted a letter saying they welcomed government regulations. Other cities in the US have taken similar steps.

And while robot services have not take off locally in South Africa as yet - baring the odd automated robotic lawnmower you may spot at World Heritage Site Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town - this video created by BuzzFeed takes a look at whether it's possible to rob one. 

WATCH: We tried to steal food from a delivery robot

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