FedEx Introduces New Autonomous Delivery Robot
FedEx just marked its entrance into the autonomous delivery robot space with SameDayBot, designed to make “last mile” deliveries more efficient. As more and more companies introduce their own versions of delivery robots (and dogs) it was only a matter of time until FedEx hopped on board.
Developed in collaboration with DEKA Development & Research Corp., the FedEx bot will feature many of the same baseline technologies found in iBot wheelchair invented by Research Corp Founder, Dean Kamen. The autonomous SameDayBot independently navigates sidewalks and roadsides while avoiding obstacles and pedestrians.
Unlike Amazon’s delivery robot Scout, the FedEx robot tackles curbs, unpaved surfaces, and climbs stairs to deliver products directly to the front door. With the same technology found in iBot, SameDayBot exhibits pedestrian-safe tech, multiple cameras, LiDAR, and machine learning to adhere to safety precautions.
“The bot has unique capabilities that make it unlike other autonomous vehicles,” Kamen said. “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 is currently in talks with several companies including AutoZone, Lowe’s, Pizza Hut, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart in hopes of getting them on board with the delivery robot craze. About 60 percent of customers live within three miles of one of these stores making it an ideal market for a short-range delivery robot.
Initial testing for SameDayBot is set to take place this summer in Memphis, Tennessee (pending city approval), and between select FedEx office locations.