Describing the robot as a “hero” and a “legend,” UC Berkeley students expressed their grief on Facebook as news of a fallen KiwiBot reached the campus community.
About 2 p.m. Friday, a KiwiBot — one of the more than 100 robots that deliver food throughout the campus and city — caught fire outside the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union.
According to Sasha Iatsenia, head of product at Kiwi, the company is still working with UCPD to investigate the cause of the fire. Nothing like this has ever happened before, Iatsenia said.
UCPD could not be reached for comment as of press time.
Footage from the scene shows one person putting out the flames with a fire extinguisher. The fire drew a small crowd of curious onlookers, and videos of a slowly blackening KiwiBot were soon thereafter uploaded to Facebook’s Overheard at UC Berkeley page.
Garnering more than 300 reactions and more than 90 comments within an hour of uploading, the video of the robot in flames made waves on the page. Students have called for a moment of silence, suggesting finals week may have finally gotten to the robot as well.
While the KiwiBot may have been scorched, Iatsenia assured The Daily Californian that it was not delivering a meal when it caught fire — no one saw their order lost.