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  • Kyle Chua

Viral TikTok Shows US Pedestrians Ransacking Delivery Robots

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Online services in the U.S. might want to reconsider the use of robots to deliver goods.

 Serve Robotics
Credit: Serve Robotics

A viral TikTok shows how autonomous robots deployed in the streets of Los Angeles, U.S. are being ransacked by pedestrians. The video features a compilation of several incidents. One, for example, involves two individuals knocking the box-shaped robot over to its side, preventing it from travelling further. Another, meanwhile, involves an individual opening the compartment of the robot to check what it's carrying.


The video was uploaded by TikTok user filmtherobotsla, a channel devoted to showing Los Angeles, California's delivery robots in action. It has amassed over 59,500 likes and more than 4,500 shares, as of writing.

Some TikTok users also couldn't help but react to what they saw in the video. "This country isn’t ready for nice things like this," wrote one TikTok user, referring to the U.S. "I have legit empathy for machine," another, meanwhile wrote.


Not everyone, however, feels sorry for the robots, with a number of users suggesting such actions are justified, so that humans can continue to have delivery jobs. "Honestly, they’re doing a lot of gig workers a favour by doing this," wrote one user.


Ransacking and looting of property is not a new occurrence in some of the most populous U.S. cities like Los Angeles, for instance. But major incidences usually only occur and are reported during periods of chaos or unrest, such as protests.


Then again, it's not the first time a delivery robot being attacked has captured public attention in the U.S. In 2022, two college students from the University of Tennessee were reportedly arrested and charged with felony vandalism after allegedly throwing the in-campus food delivery robot to the ground and damaging it. The incident was also caught on video.


Serve Robotics, the operator of the robots seen in the viral TikTok, in May 2023 announced it partnered with food delivery service Uber Eats to deploy up to 2,000 sidewalk delivery bots in Los Angeles. The robotics startup also has a partnership with convenience store chain 7-Eleven.

 
  • A viral TikTok shows how autonomous robots deployed in the streets of Los Angeles, U.S. are being ransacked by pedestrians.

  • The video was uploaded by TikTok user filmtherobotsla, a channel devoted to showing Los Angeles, California's delivery robots in action, and has so far amassed close to 60,000 likes.

  • Serve Robotics, the operator of the robots seen in the video, in May 2023 announced it partnered with food delivery service Uber Eats to deploy up to 2,000 sidewalk delivery bots in Los Angeles.

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