Autonomous Bot Tries to Cross the Street, Gets Run Over by a Ford Escape

Autonomous bot gets hit by a Ford Escape, survives 6 photos
Photo: rach.ipsa on Tiktok
Starship autonomous delivery botStarship autonomous delivery botStarship autonomous delivery botStarship autonomous delivery botStarship autonomous delivery bot
Starship Technologies is operating a global fleet of more than 1,000 delivery robots across campuses. These small autonomous bots are said to make around 80,000 crossings daily, and, sometimes, they will get in trouble, no matter how advanced their sensors are.
Since launching its first commercial delivery service in 2018, Starship has exponentially grown its autonomous bots fleet. The company’s service is currently offered in over 20 different campuses across 15 states. The video posted by Tiktok user rach.ipsa was shot at the University of Kentucky, one of four universities that just welcomed the autonomous delivery robots on its campuses.

The short clip shows how the robot plans to cross the street, and not even a second after it starts spinning its wheels, a Ford Escape runs it over. The fact that these bots only measure 21.8” (55.4 cm) doesn’t help any driver. Usually, they do have a flagpole attached, which measures 49.1” (124.8 cm), but the video shows that it was a rainy day. Therefore, in this case, the visibility was probably reduced.

It looks like the little bot has just started its job around the University of Kentucky, and it has already gotten into trouble. To get from point A to point B, these robots need to plan a route ahead which in turn requires some sort of 3D map that they create using the cameras onboard and a multitude of sensors. They use this map to usually travel on sidewalks and see where it is safe to cross streets.

But, we can safely say that this wasn’t the luckiest day for the delivery bot, as it got confused by its own map. At the end of the clip, you can see it back up onto the sidewalk with a wheel or two busted. As for the Ford driver, it’s unknown if his or her vehicle suffered any damage after the hit.


Reply to @cody_offic it's about as wonderful as you imagined ????????

? original sound - rach.ipsa
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Editor's note: Gallery shows Starship autonomous delivery robot.

About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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