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Starting to slip into the Friday afternoon doldrums? Here’s one from the let’s-see-what’s-on-social-media-today file: an autonomous food delivery robot putting up a noble defense against a freight locomotive after apparently becoming stranded in a railroad crossing. Sure, the tiny scrapper ultimately loses, but it was certainly a plucky little thing.
Poor little guy just wanted to deliver food to people 🙁
Source: https://t.co/uTZ3W1DcDx#robotics #fail pic.twitter.com/17aZ5F2w2x
This video in the tweet appears to have been originally shared by a member of a subreddit that is evidently maintained by either enthusiastic train fans or actual disgruntled locomotives, but little explanation accompanied it, so we’re left to speculate behind the very obvious, which is that this little food delivery ‘bot ended up becoming dinner for a much larger piece of machinery. That’s not to say it gave up completely without a fight. You can see the locomotive jolt upward ever so slightly before the pod’s structure completely gives way. Ah, nature. So violent, but so beautiful.
Anyway, the comments indicate that this was likely a Starship delivery robot (just like this one) operating on the grounds of Oregon State University. Apparently the little robots frequently struggle with the railroad crossing, which may explain why this particular incident wasn’t noteworthy enough to make even the local news. Sure enough, ye olde Google tells us that this isn’t the first time it has happened. Besides that, autonomous tech struggling with railroad crossings is nothing new. If Tesla’s struggles with at-grade crossings aren’t enough to move the needle, maybe the needless death of baby delivery robots will stir our nation enough to come together in the name of infrastructure improvements.
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