Robotic coolers that zip along sidewalks to deliver food and other goods are now officially recognized under Wisconsin law.
Senate Bill 148, signed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Thursday morning, adds “personal delivery devices” as a class of vehicle subject to regulation in the state. The bill also outlines rules for those robots’ speed and weight, and dictates where precisely they can go (sidewalks and crosswalks only).
An Estonian company called Starship Technologies, launched by the creators of the teleconferencing tool Skype, is one of the forces that has been pushing for the legislation. Starship been testing its small, black-and-white robots throughout Europe and in some cities in the U.S over the past year. The two-feet-tall, six-wheeled rovers are essentially self-driving cars on a tiny scale: They come with a sophisticated array of sensors for navigating along sidewalks, zipping around obstacles and crossing streets. Read the full story here.