FedEx, an American multinational courier delivery service, is testing a driverless bot named same-day bot deliveries. The project makes FedEx the latest of companies to test automated, unmanned machines to make deliveries. It is reported that FedEx same-day bot could make delivery of medicine, pizzas, and other items straight to consumer’s house. Thus, it becomes giant competitor for other delivery company like Postmates Inc. that use humans for rapid delivery.
Fred Smith, founder and chairman at FedEx, in an interview mentioned that reason to bring this bot today is because FedEx business moves about 14 and a half million shipments a day worldwide. Therefore, same-day could be one of greatest technology which is sort of new market to connect business to consumer.
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When asked about the impact of robots to human in the workplace, Smith commented that “I am on the optimistic side. Productivity is what’s important. In today business I think AI and robots is going to be exactly the same thing as years ago (data mentioned) when technology is yet invented. But it does not mean it is a great thing that if it is your job that is automated like the farm equipment that displaced the people in fields but for economy as a whole.”
FedEx executives refused to reveal when this robots are expected to be commonplace on the streets, they said their approach is the best way to enter a crowded field as they develop the bot with its complementary compartment such as motorized wheelchair. Additionally, this bot will not only deliver parcel in your front house but can actually climb stairs and possibly knock on your house.
It is reported that same-day bot is equipped with speaker in which human can do conversation with the pilot controlling the bot. “The robots are being designed on base used by a motorized wheelchair developed by Deka Corp. Therefore, deliveries will be monitored, and the robots will have speaker and cameras to help navigate their routes and detect pedestrians,” FedEx said.
Further discussion from Bloomberg revealed that same-day robot is as heavy as 100 pounds and will use machine learning to calculate optimal route to a delivery destination. The device itself weigh about 200 pounds and can run two hours on a single charge. Also, customers who receive their package from this bot will need a code to open and take the goods from the bot.
The automated robot can return to office by itself after completing the delivery task. “If this test runs well, same-day robots will then be carried out to the real shipments and sure is, many will be excited to see a bot deliver goods in their front doors.”
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