Arizona law gives delivery robots same rights as pedestrians – but they must abide by same rules

(FOX News) -- In Arizona, robots zigzagging across a sidewalk will have the same rights as everyone else - and they will have to follow the same laws.

A new law signed by the governor earlier this month will allow delivery robots, or personal delivery devices, to operate on sidewalks throughout the state, but the robots have to be courteous and use crosswalks just like everyone else. Previously, motor vehicles, including robots, were forbidden on sidewalks.

"You don't want to think of it as a human with rights or something like that, but it causes them to have to obey the laws," said State Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, who sponsored the bill. "So they can't just whiz out into the street, they can't run into somebody, they have to go by our current laws."

>>VIDEO: Delivery robots now legal to roam in Arizona

The law makes way for delivery robots to become big business in Arizona. The robot would work like this: Customers place a food or coffee order on an app, the eatery inserts the items inside a delivery robot - and the robot goes off, on its own, to make the delivery.

Townsend said she saw the robots at a conference in Boston and they intrigued her - so she wanted to bring them to her state. They can bring just about anything in minutes, from groceries to flowers to carry-out meals.

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