Washington lawmakers ponder rules for delivery robots

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — With little more fanfare than the soft buzz of its motor, a new kind of vehicle rolled down a concrete ramp before onlookers at the Washington State Capitol Monday: A delivery robot designed for carrying packages to consumers’ doors.

Along with the demonstration, a bill has also been introduced to regulate the autonomous devices, even as retail giant Amazon has already begun tests in the state. The bill would restrict the weight of the robots, limit them to sidewalks, and require both insurance and active monitoring by a human.

Democratic Rep. Shelley Kloba said the bill would fill in a grey area in state law, adding speed and weight limits and requiring insurance.

The bill was scheduled for a public hearing Monday.