The 18-inch tall robots on four wheels zipping across city sidewalks stopped people in their tracks as they whipped out their camera phones.
“It’s operating by itself!” said Brittany Chance, a tourist from Chicago.

The bots’ mission: To deliver restaurant meals cheaply and efficiently, another leap in the way food comes to our doors and our tables.

The semiautonomous vehicles were engineered by Kiwibot, a company started in 2017 to game-change the food delivery landscape. Three years later, the pandemic exacerbated the need for door-to-door food service, prompting rising delivery costs for restaurants and their customers.