Robots have long been the bad guys in science fiction, but they are now common in many cities. Autonomous robots are partnering with stores and restaurants to improve local delivery by using mobile technology.

Cristiane Bonifacio was chasing a small orange flag that was waggled just above a row of low garden walls. She was relieved to see that the flag-mounted robot, which has six wheels and is white, was slowing down and coming to a stop. She had just taken a big chocolate bar out of the rolling robot outside her house. She had to rush back inside for a work conference call because she was in a hurry, but she still had time to show her admiration for the robot delivery service that sends these machines scampering along her neighborhood’s pavements. There are times when you come across one that is stuck; you assist it, and it says “thank you.” Amber Case, who lives in Oregon, is an expert in how technology affects daily life and the interaction between humans and robots. Robots are a common technology that is used to attack us in movies. However, we use the delivery robots that are waiting for us. Starship Technologies’ robot delivery service was introduced in Milton Keynes four years ago and has since been steadily growing, with new towns being added just last month.

When you see one, you don’t feel the science-fiction emotion of “Oh no! It’s a robot! ” It is a cute little street character more than anything else. It brightens up your walk.