Students test robotic delivery drones in Forest Park

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - The future came to Forest Park Tuesday afternoon dressed as a cooler on wheels.

"It's supposed to fit in exactly like a normal pedestrian walking on the sidewalk would. It goes about four to five miles per hour and can carry two grocery bags worth of groceries or packages inside of it." said robot handler Kayla Bruskas.

The robot was remotely driven by a University of Arkansas team back in Fayetteville.

"You have to drive them on the sidewalks first. They can map out all the sidewalks before they can drive them on their own. So when we get to a new place we drive them around. The handler walks with the robot and makes sure everything is okay and it doesn't get hit by a car or vandalized or anything like that." said robot handler Matt Sheppard.

Tuesday afternoon these students were doing social acceptance testing. Delivery drones like this could be commonplace in the next decade. This prototype could be used to deliver items under 30 pounds like, say, a robotic vacuum cleaner. What if someone nefarious nee'r do well tries to nab the delivery robot's contents?

"It has nine cameras on it and the GPS device and it locks and will only open for the user with the app."said robot handler Kayla Bruskas.

Robots have been blamed recently for rising unemployment and even killing humans remotely via drone. It is unclear whether this delivery robot has been read Isaac Asimov's three rules of robotics.

"The future is now. I just think it's funny that some people ignore it. Like, here's this incredible piece of technology rolling down the sidewalk and no one wants to look up from their phone long enough to pay attention to it." said said robot handler Matt Sheppard.

They're very much a part of our real world, and might soon be knocking on your door with a delivery of say, a robotic vacuum.

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