Deutsche Post is to run a six-week test of delivery robots in Bad Hersfeld in central Germany.
The self-propelled PostBOTs will accompany mail carriers in two delivery districts. Each robot can carry up to 150 kilos with six post trays relieving carriers of heavy loads.
“This current test is expected to deliver important insights into how we can further develop the delivery process for our employees,” said Jürgen Gerdes, chief executive of the Post – eCommerce – Parcel division.
The PostBOT was custom-built, based on a robot from French company Effidence SAS.
Its sensors track the legs of the mail carrier, following behind them automatically throughout the entire route. It can navigate around obstacles or stop when needed.
The robust “PostBOT” can be used in all weather conditions. The control elements have been placed on both sides of the unit to promote good ergonomics for the back and joints.
The first six-weeks will be followed by a period of assessment. Those insights will then flow into another round of tests and improvements.