FedEx announce trials to use ‘autonomous’ robot for deliveries
FEDEX IS THE FIRST OF THE ‘BIG 4’ WORLD LEADING CARRIERS TO JOIN THE DELIVERY ROBOT CRAZE, BY OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF ITS SAMEDAY BOT, WHICH IT SAYS COULD HELP MAKE “LAST MILE” DELIVERIES MORE EFFICIENT.
SEE the little guy in action
The robot is set for public trials later this year in the USA.The move from FedEx highlights how logistics is increasingly focused on automating deliveries. However, there are also slight concerns about the impact using robots for roles humans might otherwise be doing. Additionally, the impact in cities with concerns regarding robots crowding pavements.
Previous experiences involving robots’ deliveries on public footpaths and pavements have been contentious in heavily populated cities such as San Francisco. Pedestrians are concerned about motorised vehicles, such as robots or e-scooters, crowding sidewalks and potentially creating safety issues.
The SameDay Bots are powered by batteries with a top speed of 10 mph. The robot is autonomous, meaning it can steer itself around pedestrians and traffic using a combination of LIDAR sensors similar to those found in self-driving cars and cctv cameras.
Fedex delivery on The Tonight Show
The initial trial will see the FedEx bot used to courier packages between the company’s offices in FedEx’s Memphis headquarters. It is hoped that if the trials are successful, the bot will be expanded to other companies and retailers will snap them up for fast food and retail deliveries, making robots a standard part of a same-day delivery service.
FedEx claim they are already in talks with firms such as Pizza Hut, Target and Walmart to assess their need for this sort of robot delivery. FedEx back this up by claiming that more than 60% of customers who order goods from such retailers live within a three mile radius of a store — the perfect range for a little wheeled robot.
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Video 1 credit: courtesy of FedEx - Youtube - 26th February 2019
Video 2 credit: courtesy of The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon - 27th February 2019