With the expansion of robot food delivery schemes around the world, there has been a growing number of thefts and attacks on pavement delivery robots, according to a report from Los Angeles-based new outlet KTLA.
The station reported that, despite a significant growth in popularity during the pandemic, the deployment of food delivery robots has been impacted by increasing incidents of vandalism and theft.
What’s more, a viral TikTok video has shown people attacking, vandalising and taking items from inside robots.
KTLA highlighted a number of thefts in West Hollywood specifically, with Serve Robotics operating an autonomous delivery scheme for UberEats in this area.
Startup Serve Robotics told KTLA that it is aware of the incidents but maintains that its deliveries have a 99.9% completion rate and serves 200 restaurants and counting.
What’s more, the company plans to expand its current fleet in the city and launch in other locations, such as Dallas and Vancouver.
There are currently no official figures available as to how many robots have been targeted.
Similar services have expanded across the US in recent months, with operating areas including university campuses, residential areas and more.
However, not everyone has responded negatively to the rollout.
Starship Technologies, which provides autonomous delivery services in locations around the world, conducted a survey of 7,063 college students on more than 20 campuses across the US where its robots have been deployed.
The survey revealed that more than 98% of students ‘loved them’ (78%) or ‘liked them’ (20%) on their campus, and that 61% placed at least one order per week.