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'Come on, get up!' CATS crew comes to the rescue of fallen delivery robot in Uptown

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – When Geoffrey, one of the pink delivery robots that recently began rolling down some of Charlotte’s sidewalks, found itself on its side on Monday, a CATS crew was eager to step in and help.

Patrick Kelly and Chris Pearson said they were traveling to a Charlotte Area Transit System lot Monday when they spotted a pink robot on wheels on the 11th street sidewalk.

“We saw this first one, it had the little eyes with hearts,” Kelly said.

Just up the road, the pair spotted two more Geoffreys, but one was in trouble.

“It was flipped over,” said Kelly.

The delivery robot appeared to have tipped over onto its side as it attempted to drive onto the sidewalk at a crosswalk at Davidson and 11th Street.

“Everybody was just passing by. I don’t think anybody really cared,” added Kelly.

(photo courtesy of Kaci Jones)

The two found a safe place to turn around as Chris Pearson turned on the flashing lights of his CATS vehicle.

Kelly said he hopped out of the vehicle, pushed the robot over and “he just went ahead on about his way.”

Pearson described the robots as mimicking school kids waiting on the corner for each other like, “come on, get up!”

Kelly added that one of the robots would not leave the fallen Geoffrey.

“He got himself together, kind of jerked a little bit. Eventually, he righted himself and started on his way,” said Kelly.

As for the food, Kelly and Pearson said they don’t know how it held up during the tip over, but confirmed nothing appeared to be leaking as it rolled off to continue its delivery.

“Nothing was leaking. No coffee, no lithium battery, nothing was spilled out,” said Kelly.

And what should you do if you’re driving down the road and see a turned-over Geoffrey?

Pearson and Kelly said safety is the key. If you plan to help, come to a complete stop, put on your flashers and make sure traffic is clear before you get out.

A Canadian company named Tiny Mile created the small, pink robots with the goal to make a zero-emissions delivery system for businesses while also making the plan more cost-effect than Uber Eats, Door Dash and food delivery options.

Despite finding trouble on the sidewalk, the CATS duo said they were impressed with how the robots are navigating the city.

“Everything that they were actually doing was on spot,” Pearson said. “It seems like they have a master plan that works fine.”

Each robot is named Geoffrey and can cruise at about 3 mph.

“We liken him back to the old days when people wave at the postman and they knew his name. That’s what Geoffrey is, he’s just a robot version of that really,” said Sharif Virani, Head of Growth at Tiny Mile.

As more Geoffreys hit the sidewalks, there could be more chances for Kelly and Pearson to be the robot Good Samaritans.

“We felt really good about it. I’m just happy we could get him up and get him on his way. It felt like a great customer service experience,” said Kelly.



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