Ohio Senate approves robots to deliver you pizza and booze

Ohio Senate approves robots to deliver you pizza and booze

FOX19 - Here's the struggle: Weather is not looking so great or you don't feel like leaving the house and you're hungry. Maybe expensive delivery fees and tips don't sound appealing. In the next decade, it's totally feasible the person delivering your pizza or bottle of wine will be replaced by a robot.

The Ohio Senate version of the state budget passed on Thursday categorizes "personal delivery devices" as pedestrians, allowing robots to travel on sidewalks.

A fleet of knee-high robots have already hit the streets of the nation's capital and it's essentially a high-tech cooler on wheels. Delivery bots are making progress getting lawmakers on board, despite deep concerns of the impact on employment by robots slimming down the workforce. Similar laws in Wisconsin, Florida and Idaho were passed to allow self-driving robots on sidewalks and it is likely other states will follow.

Right now there aren't too many robots on American or European streets — so there's no high profile examples of robot delivery going wrong yet.

Starship Technologies, the Estonian startup funded by Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, is behind a lot of the effort to get robots knocking on your door. Amazon and Google are zeroing-in on airborne devices making home deliveries.

Starship's robots can carry items within a 3-mile radius and promises the cost of shipping would be much cheaper than what we're used to. Like Uber, the robot's entire journey can be monitored on your smart phone. The company says there are various theft proof measures taken and if the robot gets stuck or lost a human can remotely control it.

A final vote on Ohio's budget will occur next week. The 2018-2019 budget must be on Gov. Kasich's desk by June 30.

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