In an unexpected turn of events, Co-op delivery robots faced a minor hiccup on the streets of Cambridge when they encountered obstacles due to a fire incident. The incident unfolded as Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue responded to a derelict building fire on Saturday.
Firefighters swiftly arrived at the scene, parking multiple fire engines and trailing hoses across the road and pavement. As a safety measure, a portion of the pavement was cordoned off with tape to facilitate their firefighting efforts. However, this unintentional blockade posed a challenge for the local delivery robot community.
The six-wheeled white robots, equipped with visibility flags, found themselves at a loss when attempting to navigate the busy road, unable to traverse the fire hoses.
Firefighters to the Rescue
In a heartwarming moment, two firefighters came to the aid of the stranded robots. They demonstrated excellent lifting techniques as they carefully picked up the robots and carried them over the obstructions, ensuring a safe passage.
A spokesperson for the fire service shared the incident on social media, stating, Apologies, Co-op, but when we battled a building fire in Cambridge last evening, our hoses and fire engines confused your delivery robots. Firefighters assisted them on their way, so hopefully there weren’t too many delays.”
In an official statement, the spokesperson added, “To allow the robot to proceed, firefighters gently raised it up and moved it over the barriers. Another robot soon broke through the barrier and required assistance to get back on track. It’s not something we encounter every day!”
Co-op’s Innovative Delivery Robots
The Co-op’s delivery robots have been serving the streets of Cambridge since November 2022, allowing residents to order food and have it delivered to their doorsteps in under an hour. Shoppers can track the robots’ progress via an interactive map as they navigate the city.
These robots have been introduced as part of an initiative to reduce the number of daily car journeys in Cambridge. Starship, the manufacturer of these robots, claims that an average delivery consumes as little energy as boiling a kettle to make one cup of tea, contributing to time and energy savings compared to conventional shopping trips.
The incident serves as a quirky reminder of the ongoing integration of technology into our everyday lives, even in unexpected situations.