US letter and package delivery giant FedEx is set to test what it calls a "SameDay Bot", with the firm hoping that this innovation will solve the problems that it has with the "last kilometre" of delivery to the end customer.
Photo credits: FedEx
Following in the footsteps of Amazon and others, FedEx is now testing a robot capable of delivering packages, the US letter and package service giant announced on Wednesday 27 February.
The "SameDay Bot" as it is being called will be tested this year in Memphis (Tennessee), where FedEx headquarters are located, as soon as the local authorities give their definitive go-ahead. It will then provide a same-day service to get purchases to customers from the store to their home or business address.
For "the last kilometre"
A multitude of companies are looking to find less costly and less polluting solutions to trucks and drivers for what is described as "the last kilometre" up to the customer.
This robot 'represents an historic landmark in our mission which involves solving the problems and costs linked to same-day delivery to the "last kilometre" for the burgeoning on-line shopping sector, all in a way that is safe and good for the environment', explained Brie Carere, a member of the management of the group, in a press release.
FedEx robot capable of going up stairs
The "SameDay Bot" has been designed to go along pavements or the sides of roads, avoid obstacles and pedestrians and can even go up stairs, all at a top speed of 16 km/h. The theory is that the robots will be used for short deliveries from points of sale such as Walmart and Target supermarkets and Pizza Hut.
Amazon recently began testing the delivery of packages by a mini-robot code-named "Scout" around Seattle, where its headquarters are located. Vision Fund meanwhile, which belongs to Japan-based SoftBank, has been investing heavily in this kind of technology and has just poured almost 950 million dollars into a US start-up called Nuro which specialises in small autonomous delivery vehicles.
Cover photo credits: FedEx
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Jan 17, 2019
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