Washington, DC – E&C Republicans continue to put forward policies to help advance U.S. leadership in emerging technologies that will define our future. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how important technologies are becoming in each of our everyday lives, and our reliance on these tools will only continue to grow. From artificial intelligence to the gig economy and everything in between, American innovation in technologies not only will improve the lives of U.S. citizens each day, it will ensure our national security against bad actors and allow our economy to continue to prosper.
Congress must work to encourage technological innovation, not stifle it. That’s why E&C Republicans introduced an emerging tech agenda with more than a dozen bills to encourage the development and deployment of technologies from artificial intelligence to Internet of Things devices to unmanned delivery vehicles. Included in this agenda is the Advancing Unmanned Delivery Services Act by Communications and Technology Subcommittee Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH), who has seen these vehicles safely delivering meals and other goods to students in his district at Bowling Green State University.
Learn more in the Sentinel-Tribune below.
By Roger LaPointe
August 19, 2020
Go to almost any intersection near the Bowling Green State University campus and there are likely to be little white 6-wheeled robots — that vaguely resemble an ice chest with a face and small orange bicycle flag.
“Hello, I’m a Starship Delivery Robot,” the robots will say in greeting.
When first introduced in March, the robots delivered take-out food orders from nine locations, but in the fall that will be expanded to 13 locations. Some convenience stores have also added items that can be picked up by the robots.
With COVID-19 the robots have taken on an expanded role.
“The big thing is it reduces exposure,” said Jon Zachrich, director of marketing and communications for BGSU Dining by Chartwells, said of the delivery service and its relation to the coronavirus pandemic. “It really provides a nice option for those who are trying to social distance, for whatever the reason.”
There have been 27 robots operating around town since students left in March. As residence assistants return the first week of August the number of robots will be ramping up.
In the first two weeks of operation this spring, the program increased from 160 deliveries on the first day, to 1,000 deliveries, with 48 robots on campus. It became the leading robot delivery program in the country.
The little robots have even been an inspiration in Washington, D.C., where U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, introduced his new bill, the Advancing Unmanned Delivery Services Act.
Latta came to campus in May to meet with BGSU President Rodney Rogers where they talked about autonomous vehicles and the way the delivery robots were making an impact on that industry.
“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of delivering goods Americans rely on directly to their homes as safely and efficiently as possible. Unmanned delivery services, including drones, robots, and autonomous vehicles, unleash the potential to ensure Americans can access necessities from the comfort of their living rooms, whenever they need them,” Latta said.
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