December 2, 2022

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Video of college student attacking food-delivery robot leads to 2 arrests

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two students from the University of Tennessee are facing charges after one of them allegedly threw a campus food-delivery robot to the ground.

Patrick Callahan, 19, and Brock Garland, 20, both face one count of felony vandalism of over $2,500 dollars after the robot was damaged on the evening of April 29.

Incident reports say the students were retrieving Garland’s food order from the robot when they attempted to shove the robot’s antenna inside the top compartment. A video was also posted to social media, but appears to have since been deleted, allegedly showing Callahan picking up the robot and slamming it to the ground.

Data logs from the UT Office of Information Technology verified that the two students were in the exact area of the incident at the time it occurred. They were identified from social media posts by members of the Starship Technology crew, the company which owns and operates the robots used on college campuses across the country.

The replacement cost for the robot is $5,500.

A bonded arraignment has been scheduled for May 13.

The robots were only recently introduced on the campus and allow students and faculty to have groceries and food delivered directly from campus dining services. The electronic robots are operated autonomously using a mixture of computer vision and GPS, reaching a top speed of 4 miles per hour.