Ah, the future. A time when sexy robots will shoot fast food coupons out of their chrome boobs. When smart computers will do our work for us, and humans can loll in grassy pastures all day like God intended. When turtle-shaped grocery delivery carts will deliver goods directly to your front door, certainly not using your data for anything nefarious. Utopia is nigh!
We may still have a few years before chrome-boobed sex bots, but Albertsons grocery did just announce a partnership with Tortoise, an automatic logistics startup peddling remote-controlled delivery carts. The Kitchn reports that the carts are equipped with a camera and speaker, and a remote (human) operator guides them from the grocery store to your front door. The carts can hold up to 120 pounds of groceries in lockable containers, and it travels at about three miles per hour. At this point, the carts can service a zip a three-mile range around the grocery store in question.
The Kitchn reports that Tortoise was originally an electric scooter company, but pivoted into the grocery delivery space during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company told Grocery Dive that it hopes to work with five of the 10 largest U.S. grocery chains by the end of this year, even working to deliver temperature-controlled storage bins to customers’ homes so you can have groceries delivered while you’re out of the house. For now, Tortoise carts are being tested in two California Safeway stores. And, okay, the carts are convenient. They’re also cute, with little smiling turtle faces. But if this technology fell into the wrong hands? Keep an eye out for those chrome knockers. That’s all I’m saying.