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Wait, What?!? The Future is Now Edition

by Prince Of Petworth February 7, 2017 at 11:30 am 38 Comments

Anybody know more details here? And not to be too cynical but I wonder how many of these things are gonna get swiped? Or is the some crazy evade mode/defense mechanism?

  • Daryl T

    I would seriously hope that there is going to be some kind of GPS/Anti-Theft Device on these things

  • Ross

    Or what happens when someone riding a bike crashes into it because they happen to be checking their Facebook instead of paying attention to what’s in front of them?

    • glover park

      Yep. Here we go. Blame the bikers. Because pedestrians never walk on sidewalks while totally distracted by their phones.

      • wdc

        The retort is in your comment. SideWALK. Pedestrians WALKING. I’m not even a little sympathetic to cyclists riding on the sideWALK.

        • LGformerlyofMTP

          I don’t ride on the sidewalk, but cyclists are allowed to except in a small area of the city.

          While not recommended safe cycling practice in
          most instances, DC code states that cyclists are
          allowed to ride on the sidewalk as long as they are
          outside the central business district (CBD). The
          CBD is bounded by 2nd Street NE and SE, D Street
          SE and SW, 14th Street SW and NW, Constitution
          Ave NW, 23rd Street NW, and Massachusetts Ave
          NW. Within the CBD, bicycling is allowed on lands
          under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service
          including places like Lafayette Park, Farragut
          Square Park, the National Mall and Dupont Circle.
          However, if cyclists do ride on the sidewalk they
          must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.

          • Brookland Neighbor

            Thanks for posting this! I had no idea this was allowed in DC. The more you know…

        • Joysbrother

          +10 Ride your bike in the street.

          • HappyCyclist

            Even in DC, there are locations where riding in the street is dangerous/veryuncomfortable. Some of those coincide with places where there are few pedestrians on the sidewalk, and the sidewalk is otherwise rideable (at least slowly) As long as that is the case, I will ride my bike on the sidewalk where it is legal, though I will ride politely, slowly and safely near pedestrians.

          • alexw

            -3. uninformed comment.

      • Ross

        Bikers are sooooo sensitive.

        • Not even a bicyclist.

          Because they are tired of constantly getting yelled at, at best, or physically threatened by jerks in 1-2 ton hunks of metal, at worst and often.

          • Ross

            Wow, I don’t know what to say, then. If they can’t handle it, maybe they should take the bus.

  • Bill
  • asdf
    • Ben

      Excellent reference

  • andy2

    They should come with a skunk spray mechanism – steal ’em, and your going to get sprayed with the stink of death!

  • DC20009

    These are just going to take jobs away from people. That’s reason enough to oppose developing this tech but having to dodge these things on the sidewalk is also annoying.

    • asdf

      Oh, that old chestnut.

      You forgot about the engineers, designers, programmers, assembly line workers, mechanics, and logistics personnel, who build, maintain, and operate these machines.

      • anon

        OK, but seriously. There are good jobs coming out of these advances, but it is costing more jobs than it’s creating. Otherwise it wouldn’t really be in companies’ interests to invest in this technology.
        Technological advancement is good and necessary. In the long run, the economy will adjust. But if we’re not aware of the costs of technological change we will be very surprised when someone like Trump gets elected.

    • Formerly ParkViewRes

      I really don’t understand this mindset. As technology advances, yes some jobs will go away, but as asdf points out it also opens up new jobs. Look at Blockbuster, but now we have Netflix. Do you think Blockbuster should still be around? Things change, we have to adapt.

      • Ben

        Hey – that mindset got Trump elected.

        • Elkhaert

          No, the resistance to that mindset got Trump elected. That was Trump’s whole thing, getting jobs back instead of adapting.

          Unless I misread you, and you were trying to say that DC20009’s mindset got Trump elected, in which case I agree.

          • Formerly ParkViewRes

            No, I believe he’s replying to me, not DC20009. And yeah look at Trump bringing back all those coal jobs! Jobs are going to continue to go away and no one is bringing them back.

          • Ben

            We are all on the same page :).

      • Anonymous

        Yes, but the number of jobs opened up by technology is smaller than the number lost, and rarely will any of those new jobs go to the people who lost the old jobs. Very few, if any, former Blockbuster video clerks are now working for Netflix, or any other streaming video company.
        I am not arguing against progress. I am just pointing out that the “there will be new jobs” argument doesn’t really help the people who are losing jobs.
        Notwithstanding the rhetoric, U.S. manufacturing is doing better than it ever has. The problem – if you are a worker – is that 12 million manufacturing jobs today produce the same amount of goods as 21 million manufacturing jobs did in 2000. And the new manufacturing jobs generally pay less and require more education and training than the old ones.

    • navyard

      Exactly! When I lived in a developing country, no one had electric dishwashers or clothes washing machines because of the high levels of unemployment. So basically every homeowner hired servants to do all of their housework and cooking. And then when you’re waiting on other people day and night, you definitely have energy left over to go home and take the same care for your own family. Nooooo, that didn’t create an underclass at all.

      • Anonymous

        There are plenty of people in advanced Western countries who work for all day and night and get paid well for their efforts, who don’t have any energy for their families or friends when they get home.
        The servant jobs you are referring to would not have been filled if there weren’t people who believed that they were good jobs to have – at least within the economy of whatever developing country you were living in. We scoff at the hourly wage that is paid to factory workers in China. But within China, those people are really well paid.

  • Michael

    How long until the thieves develop package-stealing robots?

    • Ross

      From the security camera footage I’ve seen, most of our package thieves are nowhere near smart enough to ever get close to doing something like that. I’d be much more worried about some nut strapping a bomb to one of these things. That is terrifying.

    • Ben


  • atlascesar

    I can’t wait to see the game of chicken between one of these and a flock of segway tourists

  • MadMax

    Hopefully they’re able to withstand the steady stream of dog urine that’s inevitable from all the illegal off-leash dogs around Lincoln Park.

  • EastDupont

    I foresee a starring role for one if these in the new 24 series.

  • Ampersand

    I’m amused that this thread already includes references to the triple threats of Capitol Hill: package thieves, bicyclists, and off-leash dogs peeing everywhere. Well done, commenters!

  • CathedralHeightsMetro

    Well, I generally hate all new technology, but this lil’ guy is adorable and I love it and I want them everywhere. Awwwwww.

    …TIL that I will apparently happily accept our future robot overlords so long as they are cute?

  • Trinidad Resident

    We saw one today and I kept thinking- what will reasonably fit inside? Just a couple of small packages or maybe a few meals for delivery? It seems like a really slow way to do business. Especially if the robot has to keep returning to a central location to re-load.

  • BMouse

    Do you have to tip?


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