Food delivery robots are suddenly turning up all over in big cities across America. Companies are contracting with Uber Eats to have their robots complete deliveries, thus putting even more humans out of work. What most people don’t realize, however, is that these little robots are equipped with cameras that are always running and recording. On top of that, the companies that own the robots are eagerly sharing all the videos from the robots with law enforcement.
You might think, “What’s the big deal? I’m not some criminal, so I have nothing to worry about from these little surveillance robots.” But that’s not the point. When we allow government to start watching everything we do when we’re out in public, eventually, Big Government will start telling you how you are allowed to behave and what you are allowed to think.
This is already happening in Communist China with their social credit score program. If you upset the authorities who are watching your every move, you might suddenly find yourself unable to access your bank account or unable to get on a plane.
These little food delivery robots are everywhere in Los Angeles and other cities right now. You can see them running around every day on certain sidewalks as people order food from Uber Eats. Some of the robots supposedly are powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), with human observers back at the parent company monitoring them. Others are operated by a human operator with a joystick, sort of like a drone.
The main company making these robots in LA is called Serve Robotics. As 404 Media has learned, Serve Robotics is already providing surveillance video from its robots to the Los Angeles Police Department. It’s not as if this was the LAPD’s idea; Serve Robotics went to the LAPD and offered to provide its surveillance video to them. The LAPD eagerly jumped at the chance.
The robots, for their part, are basically ridiculous. They look like a cooler with wheels and a little camera sticking out of the roof. They pull up to a restaurant, and a worker opens the top of the cooler to put the delivery meal in it. Then the robot zips off to deliver the food—except for when it doesn’t.
It’s extremely common these days for the robots to be attacked and looted by crazy homeless people. They also get confused on crosswalks for some reason and will just sit there, blocking traffic. Maybe the ridiculousness of the robots is why many people seem to be okay with them. They look so silly that people are not thinking about the potential long-term consequences of having these robots patrolling around and always surveilling us.
The robots do annoy a lot of people, though. Their AI doesn’t seem to be very good at solving certain kinds of problems. Last year, a video of a food delivery robot went viral when it drove right under a police caution tape at Hollywood High School, where there was a potential active shooting happening.
Plus, you might not even want one of these robots delivering your food when you see what happens to them on a day-to-day basis.
Here’s a video of a food delivery robot named “Austin” as he goes through physical and emotional abuse on the streets of Los Angeles. The language in the video is NSFW, so you’ve been warned. There’s also some partial nudity. At one point, a homeless lady drops her trousers and tries to ride Austin like a pony. Most people probably don’t want a crazy homeless lady rubbing her bare butt all over their food delivery robot as it brings their meal to them.