A police officer from Estonia’s Northern District Police Department – whose jurisdiction includes the capital, Tallinn – was caught on video stopping the traffic and helping a delivery robot cross the street after it had gotten stuck in the snow.
“Yesterday, a patrol noticed a delivery robot that couldn’t move forwards and backwards. It was looking around with a sad face because no car stopped to let it cross the road. No pedestrian helped it, either,” the Northern District Police Department said in a Facebook post.
“As courteous motorists, the police officers stopped at the crosswalk and one of them got out to see if he can help the robot. At that very moment, the robot managed to get itself out of the snow. We then stopped the traffic and helped the robot safely cross the road,” the police department added.
“Let’s be humane towards the robots, too, and help them cross the streets!”
The video was recorded from a police vehicle, evidently using a cell phone, because the video was shot vertically.
The delivery robots in Tallinn – mostly belonging to and operated by the Estonian-founded Starship Technologies – can be seen everywhere on the sidewalks, and after a heavy snowfall, they can get stuck in the white powder.
Oleme innovatiivsed ja õpime vaikselt ka tehisintellektiga suhtlema. Tundub, et mõistame üksteist 😉 pic.twitter.com/dsGI0jP1VS— Roger Kumm (@roger_kumm) December 8, 2021
Estonian diplomat Illimar Lepik von Wirén posted a photo on Facebook of another robot that had gotten stuck in the snow.
“[It] saw me coming and asked with a synthesised voice whether I could help out. So I did, and both of us carried on with our day,” he said.
Starship’s robots are designed to deliver food, groceries and packages locally in minutes. According to the company, they’ve travelled millions of miles and completed over two million autonomous deliveries around the world.
Cover: A Starship robot in Tallinn’s Mustamäe district in winter. Photo by Starship Technologies.