The FedEx SameDay Bot , says the company, will enable retailers to accept orders from nearby customers and deliver them by bot directly to customers' homes or businesses the same day. The FedEx bot is being developed in collaboration with DEKA Development & Research Corp. and its founder Dean Kamen, an engineer best known for his invention of the Segway personal transportation vehicle.
"The bot has unique capabilities that make it unlike other autonomous vehicles," says Kamen. "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."
The FedEx bot is designed to travel on sidewalks and along roadsides, safely delivering smaller shipments to customers' homes and businesses. Its features include pedestrian-safe technology from the iBot, plus advanced technology such as LiDAR and multiple cameras, allowing the zero-emission, battery-powered vehicle to be aware of its surroundings.
These features are coupled with machine-learning algorithms to detect and avoid obstacles, plot a safe path, and allow the bot to follow road and safety rules. Proprietary technology makes the bot highly capable, says the company, allowing it to navigate unpaved surfaces, curbs, and even steps for an extraordinary door-to-door delivery experience.
"The FedEx SameDay Bot is an innovation designed to change the face of local delivery and help retailers efficiently address their customers' rising expectations," says Brie Carere, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for FedEx. "The bot represents a milestone in our ongoing mission to solve the complexities and expense of same-day, last-mile delivery for the growing e-commerce market in a manner that is safe and environmentally friendly."
Fedex is currently collaborating with companies such as AutoZone, Lowe's, Pizza Hut, Target, Walgreens and