FedEx plans to kick off the summer of 2019 with a delivery robot, dubbed the SameDay Bot.
FedEx has joined forces with DEKA Development & Research Corp whose founder happens to be Dean Kamen, the same person who came up with the Segway scooter and the iBot stair-climbing wheelchair.
The robot can travel at top speeds of up to 10 miles per hour and will have cameras, LiDAR and all the necessary software on board to help it navigate the streets safely and avoid obstacles or people and make its way across uneven surfaces.
The robot will not replace the existing same-day delivery services but FedEx hopes that it will act more like an extension of them.
The company will collaborate with AutoZone, Pizza Hut, Target and Walmart for the initial tests but for the time being, the robot will be delivering packages between the company’s offices at its headquarters, located in Memphis.
If these initial trials are successful, FedEx will move on to the aforementioned interested companies and retailers.
What makes this robot even interesting though is the fact that it will also communicate with the people it encounters as it zooms down the street.
It features screens on the front and the back – the front screen says ‘hello‘ while the back screen shows the direction it travels and indicates if it plans to stop or not.