FedEx has unveiled a delivery robot, the SameDay Bot, which has been designed to enable retailers to make same-day and last mile deliveries to customers.
The idea is that retailers will be able to accept orders from nearby customers and deliver them by bot directly to customers’ homes or businesses the same day.
FedEx is collaborating with companies such as AutoZone, Lowe’s, Pizza Hut, Target, Walgreens and Walmart to help assess retailers’ autonomous delivery needs.
The bot is being developed in collaboration with DEKA Development & Research Corp, which has developed the iBot in partnership with Johnson & Johnson.
It is designed to travel on pavements and along roadsides.
Features include pedestrian-safe technology from the iBot, plus advanced technology such as LiDAR and multiple cameras, allowing the zero-emission, battery-powered bot to be aware of its surroundings.
It uses machine-learning algorithms to detect and avoid obstacles, plot a safe path and allow the bot to follow road and safety rules. It has been designed to navigate unpaved surfaces, curbs, and even steps.
DEKA founder Dean Kamen said: “The bot has unique capabilities that make it unlike other autonomous vehicles. We built upon the power base of the iBot, an advanced, FDA-approved, mobility device for the disabled population with more than 10 million hours of reliable, real-world operation. By leveraging this base in an additional application, we hope that the iBot will become even more accessible to those who need it for their own mobility.”
FedEx plans to test the bot this summer in select markets, including Memphis, Tennessee.
“The FedEx SameDay Bot represents the next chapter in our long legacy of delivering innovation and outstanding service, supported by an already existing FedEx logistics ecosystem,” said Brian Philips, President and CEO of FedEx Office.