FedEx, Memphis, Tennessee-based courier delivery services platform, plans to initiate testing a robot this summer to handle home deliveries for its partners from Walmart to Pizza Hut. In today’s automation age, many retailers, shippers, and restaurants decision makers are testing robots, drones and autonomous vehicles to cut down the higher prices of delivering gadgets, groceries and even cups of coffee to the consumers’ doorsteps.
For this, FedEx collaborated with Deka Development & Research Corp, founded by Dean Kamen who invented the Segway stand-up scooter and iBot stair-climbing wheelchair, for its project. According to the delivery company, the robots could become part of its SameDay service that runs in 1,900 cities worldwide. Enabled by battery, camera, and software, FedEx’s robots look like coolers on wheels, where cameras and software assist them to find out and avoid obstacles as they wander sidewalks and roadways at a top speed of 10 miles per hour. As the first delivery will be between FedEx office stores, its more than 60 percent of products’ customers reside within 3 miles of a store location, as the reports noted. According to the company, it’s working with partners to determine its autonomous delivery to them is a viable option for fast, cheap deliveries. Investors and companies globally are heavily investing millions of dollars into their projects to reducing the costs, as they pay for third-party delivery companies and conquering regulatory blockades. Many states desire autonomous vehicles to have humans as emergency backup drivers, for safety reasons.
FedEx is not only the company that experimenting with robots, but Amazon is also testing its own delivery robot, named Scout. Though, FedEx adversary United Parcel Service is also experimenting with drone deliveries. Other than that, Starship Technologies that has secured over USD40 million in ventures funding, deployed robots to deliver packages in the San Francisco Bay Area, last year.