FedEx is launching an autonomous delivery device for retailers to make same-day and last-mile deliveries to customers.
The FedEx SameDay Bot is designed to travel on sidewalks and along roadways for deliveries of smaller shipments to homes and businesses.
The battery-powered robot uses LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology and multiple cameras and machine-learning algorithms to detect and avoid objects and plot its path. The robot can navigate unpaved surfaces, curbs and steps, as detailed in company videos.
FedEx is collaborating with companies including Lowe’s, AutoZone, Pizza Hut, Target, Walgreens and Walmart for the trials.
“The convenience and capability of the FedEx Same Day Bot has the potential to greatly simplify and speed distribution for the full range of our customers,” stated Don Frieson, Lowe’s executive vice president, supply chain. “Consider pros who could save time and money by never leaving the job site for the critical tools and supplies they need.”
The FedEx bot is being developed with Deka Development and Research Corp. and its founder Dean Kaman, inventor of the Segway. Testing of the bot is scheduled to start in the summer in select markets, including Memphis, FedEx’s home base.