Assembly unanimously passes robot delivery bill

MADISON — Robot delivery vehicles could soon roll down Wisconsin sidewalks.

The state Legislature has given final approval to a bill that would allow robots to operate on sidewalks and crosswalks.

The robots are essentially high-tech rolling coolers loaded with sensors that can read the environment. People also can operate them remotely. Starship Technologies has been using them to deliver takeout food in Europe, California and Washington, D.C.

The bill approved by the Assembly on Wednesday sets an 80-pound weight limit and a 10-mph speed limit and would require operators to control or monitor the devices.

The Senate passed the measure on a voice vote last week, so it now goes to Gov. Scott Walker for his approval.