West Lafayette's new food delivery robots occasionally freeze up

West Lafayette city leaders say they've discovered one problem, the robots have had issues crossing the road.

Posted: Sep 17, 2019 5:06 PM
Updated: Sep 17, 2019 10:17 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — It has been a week since the food delivery robots launched on Purdue's campus.

West Lafayette city leaders say they've discovered one problem, the robots have had issues crossing the road.

According to West Lafayette Director of Development Erik Carlson, the robots will occasionally freeze up.

He has been working with Starship Technologies, the company behind the robots to resolve these issues.

A goal for the company and the city is for the robots to be able to successfully cross State Street. Right now, the pilot program only allows the robots to travel on parts of State Street , Northwestern Avenue and the heart of campus.

“The pilot has kept them for the first 30-days from crossing State Street because we wanted to make sure that they have the abilities to cross State Street properly and right now from what we've seen, it looks like that was definitely a good provision to put into that,” said Carlson.

Carlson is confident these robots will meet that goal.

“When you're looking at autonomous bots for the first time, you're going to have a few hiccups as long as they continue to show improvement, well continue to be comfortable with them,” said Carlson.

Carlson said staff and students have been enjoying the robot service. It's unclear if the robots will be ready to cross State Street after its 30-day testing period.

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