In a series of bizarre incidents that have taken the internet by storm, locals in Los Angeles have been caught on camera riding and beating food delivery robots, Your Content has learned. The videos, which have gone viral on several social media platforms, showcase the unusual interactions between humans and the autonomous machines that have been deployed to deliver food in the city.
One of the most notable incidents involved a woman who appeared to be homeless riding a delivery robot on Hollywood Boulevard. The video, which was filmed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, shows the woman ditching her belongings next to a robot named ‘Austin’ before hopping on and riding it like a bull. The video was uploaded on TikTok by YouTuber Film The Robots LA and has since garnered thousands of likes and comments.
Though the video was uploaded on TikTok on Jul. 6 by YouTuber Film The Robots LA, it’s unclear when it was filmed.
“Someone sent it to me.” Film The Robots LA wrote in a TikTok comment. “I opened the email while walking down the street, watched video and was dying laughing.”
TikTok user Matt Lowry’s comment on the viral video received over 87,000 likes: “Austin needs a pay rise, man is an absolute trooper.” Another user, Kathleen Guevara, attracted over 12,300 likes to her comment: “Whoever works for that company must be so entertained by what Austin is up to in these vids.”
In another incident, a man was seen approaching Austin and claiming that he had beaten the robot in an act of self-defense. The man, who appeared to be agitated, tapped Austin with a fork and expressed his distrust of the robot, claiming it had “evil intentions and motives.”
“I don’t know who the f— Austin is,” said the man. “I assaulted it! Don’t put that on video. I died in the back of an ambulance and I woke up in a hospital.”
“What did Austin have to do with it?” asked the YouTuber.
“I don’t f—ing know. It’s evil—it’s got evil intentions and motives. It says ‘Serve Robots’ but f— robots,” the man said, tapping Austin with a fork.
These incidents have sparked a wave of online commentary, with many users expressing their amusement and concern over the interactions between humans and the autonomous machines. One user even suggested that Austin deserved a pay rise for its troubles.
The robots, owned by Serve Robotics, have been deployed in Los Angeles and San Francisco to carry out contactless deliveries. Serve Robotics, described as the leading autonomous sidewalk delivery company, announced the deployment of its next-generation delivery robots in January 2022, becoming the first autonomous vehicle company to complete commercial deliveries at Level 4 autonomy.
The company’s robots are equipped with an array of technologies that ensure the highest degree of safety by utilizing multiple layers of redundant systems for critical navigation functions. This includes active sensors such as lidar and ultrasonics, as well as passive sensors such as cameras, to navigate safely on busy city sidewalks.
Despite these safety measures, the recent incidents highlight the challenges that arise when autonomous machines interact with humans in public spaces. As the use of delivery robots becomes more widespread, it remains to be seen how these interactions will evolve and what measures will be put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of both humans and robots.
While the incidents have provided some amusement for internet users, they also raise important questions about the integration of autonomous machines into public spaces and how people are adapting to this new technology. As the use of delivery robots continues to grow, it’s clear that there will be many more interesting interactions to come.