California City OKs Delivery Robots Programs

Government Technology: (TNS) — WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — They have already been sighted here and there on downtown streets in recent months (with human handlers nearby), but small delivery robots figure to be making more appearances now that the city council has approved agreements with two more companies for pilot programs specializing in “last-mile deliveries.”

What had been a toe dip for Walnut Creek has now become a walk into the ocean, with the city council on Dec. 19 asking city staff to set up pilot programs with two companies, Oakland-based Boxbot and Marble Robotics, based in San Francisco. The agreements would run through May 2019, at which time they will be evaluated.

These follow the July approval of a similar pilot program with Starship Technologies, an England-based company with an office in Redwood City, for autonomous robots in Walnut Creek. With the December approvals, all three companies will operate separate local pilot programs.

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