Oregon Public Broadcasting

Most people in the Pacific Northwest know Coeur d'Alene, Idaho as a tourist town with a showstopper of a lake, resorts and recreation galore.

But if city officials have their way, the town will be henceforth known as a haven for robots of all sizes and stripes.

The city council unanimously passed an ordinance that allows the use of robots in public spaces -- the first of its kind in the country.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that City Attorney Mike Gridley developed the new laws to encourage robotics research in the small tourist town in northern Idaho, population 45,000. The ordinance defines what type of robots would be permitted in public to attract new businesses, while respecting citizens' privacy.

"What we really want to do is make it clear that robots are authorized on public property under certain conditions and must be operated pursuant to any signage or any other direction from city council or city staff," said Gridley in an interview with Boise Weekly.

The new laws coincide with the Think Big Festival on Friday, which will host a panel of robotics experts from all over the world.

Neighboring Post Falls is also considering a robot ordinance, but Mayor Ron Jacobson said the city still has to work out some issues as technology keeps evolving.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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