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Dax, the Delivery Robot is set to cruise the streets of Madras to provide key data on sidewalks

(Update: Adding video, comments from city of Madras)

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) – The city of Madras has an unusual new employee set to cruise the streets, collecting data for the public works department. The city introduced Dax, the product of a Philomath firm, in a Facebook posting last Thursday, ahead of his Monday debut.

The robot, which is 3 1/2 feet tall and weighs about 80 pounds, is a welcome addition to the team at thhe Madras Public Works Department.

"They (Dax) said he's very heavy, and they said it would take two people to pick him up," Michele Quinn, city Public Works office coordinator, said Monday.

"Today (Monday), he was supposed to be out on B Street and C Street, so I'm sure they probably had him set up on some type of grid where he'll do so many streets per day," Quinn said.

Dax was scheduled to start hitting the streets Monday, but as often happens with technology, there were connection problems.  Even a robot reboot didn't do the trick.

Madras agreed to an offer of a free pilot project. The trial will help to gather information for an upcoming project in a far larger city -- Los Angeles.

Public Works Director Michael Whitfield said, "They have a contract that they're working on at city of LA. And so this contract, they need to vet what this product will do for them. And so what they did is they needed someone else like ourselves to come in and actually provide that service."

Officials said he “will be cruising Madras sidewalks Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m., collecting data for the Public Works Department."

Dax will stay in Madras for two weeks to a month.

"This data will help the city better understand where (sidewalk) improvements are needed and will be a valuable tool when applying for grant funding to make those improvements," the city said.

"DAX and his remote operator (who controls him and can see everything he sees in real time) are friendly, enjoy human interaction, and have been known to dance with children from time to time," they added.

"DAX is is expected to complete his valuable work in Madras within a couple of weeks. We're excited about this innovative project and hope you are too," the city said.

Article Topic Follows: Madras

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