Don't trust the robots. Don't open them, and don't even go near them — because they may be armed with an explosive.
That's essentially the warning that Oregon State University just gave students about in a tweet, heralding strange new frontiers in campus security.
The institution blasted out an "urgent OSU alert" Tuesday afternoon warning students of an ongoing "bomb threat" involving Starship food delivery robots on its campus.
"Do not open robots," reads the bewildering message. "Avoid all robots until further notice."
After we first ran this post, Starship issued a statement clarifying the situation.
"A student at Oregon State University sent a bomb threat, via social media, that involved Starship's robots on the campus," the company wrote on X. "While the student has subsequently stated this is a joke and a prank, Starship suspended the service. Safety is of the utmost importance to Starship and we are cooperating with law enforcement and the university during this investigation."
The university has been collaborating with Starship to allow students, staff, faculty and campus visitors to order robot-delivered food from the various restaurants on campus grounds since 2020.
The Starship fleet consists of 20 six-wheeled delivery robots, each of which features a box compartment with a lid that can be unlocked and opened by the delivery's recipient with a smartphone app.
While it seems exceedingly unlikely one of these delivery robots is actually carrying a bomb, it's technically not impossible.
In August, Starship announced that it's operating robot delivery services on 50 college campuses across the US.
Updated with a statement from Starship.
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