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BLOG: Robots will soon deliver pizza

Mike Elgan | June 4, 2012
Google, as well as car companies and universities are making incredible advances in the technology for self-driving cars, and that technology will enable the robot revolution.

Siri used to do this before Apple "improved" it. Apple will surely add this kind of agency back into Siri's repertoire of abilities. And if Apple doesn't, Google will.

Once robots are licensed to drive, agency can lead to change in the real world. For example, you'll tell your iPhone: "Siri, bring me another bottle of wine." Siri will know your preferences, know where you shop, know your credit card information, and a Segway-like robot will come flying out of your garage, drive to the store, pick up the bottle (stores will offer robot pick-up as a service) and bring it to your front door.

An alternative is that the wine store has its own fleet of delivery bots. In fact, local pizza restaurants will have them, as will grocery stores, dry cleaners, flower shops and all kinds of other local businesses.

In just a year or two, self-driving cars will go on the market. A couple years after that, the robot brains that control those cars will be installed in all kinds of purpose-built rolling "bodies." They'll move around in the world, running errands for us and delivering things to us.

The futuristic sci-fi vision of robots sharing the roads and sidewalks with people is coming soon. They won't be plotting our destruction, but delivering our pizza.

Who knew that the robot revolution would be ushered in by a search engine company and a bunch of car makers?


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