“Do not open robots,” warns Oregon State amid college food delivery bomb prank


Enlarge / A 2020 file picture of a Starship Applied sciences meals supply robotic. Meals is saved contained in the robotic’s housing throughout transportation and opened upon supply.

On Tuesday, officers at Oregon State College issued a warning on social media a few bomb risk regarding Starship Technologies meals supply robots, autonomous wheeled drones that ship meals orders saved inside a built-in container. By 7 pm native time, a suspect had been arrested within the prank, and officers declared there had been no bombs hidden throughout the robots.

“Bomb Menace in Starship meals supply robots,” reads the 12:20 pm preliminary X put up from OSU. “Don’t open robots. Keep away from all robots till additional discover.” In follow-up posts, OSU officers mentioned they have been “remotely isolating robots in a secure location” for investigation by a technician. By 3:54 pm native time, specialists had cleared the robots and promised they’d be “again in service” by 4 pm.

In response, Starship Applied sciences supplied this assertion to the press: “A scholar at Oregon State College despatched a bomb risk, through social media, that concerned Starship’s robots on the campus. Whereas the coed has subsequently acknowledged this can be a joke and a prank, Starship suspended the service. Security is of the utmost significance to Starship and we’re cooperating with regulation enforcement and the college throughout this investigation.”

A series of X posts from October 24, 2023, related to a Starship food delivery robot bomb threat.
Enlarge / A collection of X posts from October 24, 2023, associated to a Starship meals supply robotic bomb risk.

College students and workers of Oregon State College in Corvallis use the robots for distant meals deliveries, that are ordered by app and loaded by a meals service worker right into a compartment. The robots use GPS and built-in sensors to succeed in their vacation spot. When the robotic arrives, the client opens the robotic and retrieves the meals saved inside.

In accordance with native information outlet KGW8, OSU launched its robotic meals supply system in 2020 with an preliminary fleet of 20 drones, however dozens extra have been added since then. Starship meals supply has change into more and more widespread on some school campuses within the US, and the corporate claims it is in use at about 60 places worldwide.

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