Joseph Sullivan and Dax

Joseph Sullivan points out features on Dax, a robotic delivery device, during Monday night's city council meeting.

BRAD FUQUA, PHILOMATH EXPRESS

The conversation at tonight's meeting between Nova Dynamics' Joseph Sullivan and the city council about "Dax" was pretty interesting. It's incredible technology and is probably something that we're going to see become a normal part of our lives over the next decade.

Sullivan said five other states have already passed legislation on robotic delivery devices.

"We''re working with the Oregon State Legislature to pass such a law in Oregon, but these things take time," Sullivan said. "In the meantime, we'd like to continue working and we're at the stage where we'd like to do this in Philomath."

In July, a new law went into effect in neighboring Idaho to permit unmanned, ground-based delivery robots to rove around on sidewalks without a human walking alongside them or watching them in their line of sight. A remote monitor is still part of the operation, just in case the robot needs help. Virginia was the first state to pass such a law.

Sullivan wants to continue testing up into the implementation phase here in Philomath. Although the robotic device might seem more at home in an urban area with a concentration of several households, Sullivan said Philomath will serve Dax's purposes just fine.

There are questions to be answered and the city will study the ins and outs of the idea before considering a resolution to allow the robot on local byways. For more on Nova Dynamics' Dax, see the city council roundup online or in the Aug. 23 edition.

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