How many more bots can a sidewalk handle? FedEx is betting at least one more. The delivery company just announced plans to pilot a new autonomous delivery bot it’s calling SameDay. Not exactly Wall-E level cute, but at least you know what you’re getting.
Like Amazon’s Scout, and Postmate’s Serve, FedEx’s self-directing “last mile” bot is designed to serve the final stretch of a delivery route that requires humans to pull over, park, and walk up to the door.
Instead of human labor, SameDay Bot will finish the task, even going so far as to climb stairs and curbs with its four wheels. That last bit of mobility is thanks to Dean Kamen, the engineer behind the Segway scooter and the stair-climbing iBot wheelchair, who is heading the development of FedEx’s design.
Using a suite of sensors and cameras, the bot will navigate city sidewalks at a top speed of 10 mph. It will communicate with pedestrians through screens on its front and back, which display friendly but basic messages like “hello” and “stopped.”
FedEx is planning to trial the SameDay Bot later this year in Memphis. And only time will tell if it’s the salvation of delivery and efficiency, like so many other bots have promised, or if it will just be another wired up chicken with its head cut off.
Via: The Verge