A food delivery robot has been caught on video happily ramming its way through a cordoned-off crime scene in Los Angeles. In a video widely seen on Twitter and Reddit, the robot doesn't seem to care about the looks it gets from police officers.
The footage appears to show a Serve Robotics model, described as a "next-generation robotic fleet", as it approaches the police cordon. A helpful human lifts the tape, to let the robot through the crime scene and on to its next delivery.
Serve Robotics brags that its latest generation of robots are "able to operate routinely without human intervention, and can rely on their onboard capabilities to ensure safe operation" using "multiple sensor modalities – active sensors such as lidar and ultrasonics, as well as passive sensors such as cameras – to navigate safely on busy city sidewalks".
The zero-emission robots just haven't yet, if the video above is anything to go by, mastered crime scenes.
On the other side of the law, robots have been deployed by the police in recent years, with far worse results.
In 2019, California deployed a "RoboCop" to police a public park. On June 18, RoboCop began patrolling public areas in an unrelenting search for crime. RoboCop was finally put to the test in October when a fight broke out in the parking lot of Salt Lake Park, downtown Los Angeles, NBC News reported. A witness, Cogo Guebara, saw the fight and immediately approached the robot with "POLICE" written across it in massive letters for help.
When she pressed the robot's emergency alert button, she was expecting it to call the cops for help. It did not. Instead, it told her to get out of the way.
“I was pushing the button but it said, ‘step out of the way,’” Guebara told NBC News at the time. “It just kept ringing and ringing, and I kept pushing and pushing.”
While another witness, Rudy Espericuta, called the cops the old-fashioned way on his phone, RoboCop carried on its pre-programmed patrol route, occasionally stopping to tell people to "keep the park clean".