Postmate’s Pinkdot delivery robot was spotted on the scene on Santa Monica Boulevard this evening at roughly 4:30 p.m.. The “autonomous delivery device” known as Dotty, was spotted heading west on Route 66, before turning north on Crescent Heights Boulevard.
Dotty stopped traffic on the boulevard and pedestrians could not help but do a double take and gawk as the tiny robot moved cautiously on the sidewalk. It assessed driveways, stopped for a guy walking his dog and it looked both ways before crossing a street (well, its handler looked both ways). People took pictures, and some onlookers actually chased it down the street to get some video footage.
Although the robot appeared to be roaming the street solo, there was clearly a handler walking a short distance behind. The guy known as an “autonomous robot guide,” denied that he had anything to do with the robot, but he was clearly monitoring every move the bot made and he was observing the way people responded to it.
“THE FUTURE IS HERE!” Reads an Pinkdot Instagram post. “Stay home & let the #robots deliver to you! People ordering #PinkDot from @postmates will now have the option of having an “autonomous delivery device” bring the food to their homes! We are officially the only store using robots for deliveries.”
Bloomberg reports that Postmates began developing autonomous delivery robots, a project known internally as Postmates X, in 2017. Postmates partnered with Phantom Auto last summer, a few months before its fleet of four-wheeled, black-and-yellow robots began making short-range deliveries in Los Angeles. Supervisors have been on hand for every trip, as is required by California state law. The Serve bots, as Postmates calls them, also operate in a smaller area in San Francisco.
To promote the latest and safest way to get convenience store items delivered to your door, Pinkdot is giving away free Pinkdot hats to anyone who snaps a selfie with the three deliver bots hitting the street. Pinky, Dotty or Solly. To get a hat, just use the hashtags #pinkdot #robot #deliveryservice #LA.