Futuristic delivery robot goes rogue and attacks ‘scared’ tot in shopping mall

A toddler was left "stressed and scared" after a delivery robot allegedly hit and pushed him in front of his mum inside a shopping centre.

The self-driving machine is thought to have "ran into" the two-year-old at Brunel shopping centre in Bletchley, Milton Keynes despite being fitted with 10 cameras.

According to the mum, the white robot, which features ultrasound sensors to avoid obstacles, didn't stop and made its way after the incident.

Luckily, the young boy escaped without any injuries following the incident.

Starship Technologies, which operates the food and grocery delivery robots in Milton Keynes, Bucks, said it was now investigating the report.

Writing on neighbourhood website Nextdoor, an anonymous mum said: “So today my two-year-old son was hit and pushed by one of those delivery robots in the Brunel shopping centre in Bletchley.

"The robot never stopped and continued his journey.

"My son didn’t get any injury but he was scared and stressed after this. I really hope this doesn’t happen again."

Starship robots have been operating in Milton Keynes since October 2018, with customers paying a monthly subscription to have takeaways, parcels and groceries delivered.

Co-op and Starbucks are among the companies that have partnered with Starship.

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The machines are designed to travel along paths like pedestrians and are fitted with technology to identify cars, traffic lights and pavements.

Responding to the mum's concerns on Nextdoor, one person said: “I think the sensors get confused. One almost went into my husband a few weeks ago.”

But another commented: “I stood in front of one a couple of years back to see what happened. It stopped and spoke and politely asked me to move. I stayed there for a second and it went round me.”

Another person agreed: “I come into contact with them on a regular basis and they always recognise me."

A spokesperson for Starship said: “We take an incident like this seriously and we’re investigating.”

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