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More Autonomous Delivery Robots Expected on Our Sidewalks



In February, we talked about the Amazon Scout robot, which is being developed to handled door-to-door delivery for customers without the need for a human to pilot the device. Companies across the globe are beginning to develop their own autonomous robots for delivery, and today we'll discuss FedEx's answer, the SameDay Bot.

FedEx recently unveiled their SameDay Bot prototype to the public and hopes to begin testing soon. The bot was is being developed with DEKA Development and Research Corp . whose founder has significant experience in robotics including inventing the iBot and Segway. FedEx and DEKA are also working with retailers like Lowes, Walmart, and Walgreens to assess the needs of retailers in this same-day delivery space.

Many customers of retail stores live close to the store's physical location, with about 60% in a 3-mile radius. Combine that with a growing desire for customers to receive same-day delivery, the need for autonomous robots in this space is growing. Built upon the power base of the iBot personal mobility device, the SameDay Bot is highly adept at traversing the communities in which it will deliver. The robot is able to move along sidewalks or roadsides and can handle curbs and uneven pavement. The robot can also utilize stairs, allowing it to have complete door-to-door delivery functionality.

The prototype is currently undergoing refinement to ensure it meets safety standards and regulations, as well as better addressing the needs of customers. FedEx hopes to test the bot this summer in select cities following municipal approval.

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