Delivery giant FedEx has teamed up with the inventor of the Segway to launch a last mile delivery robot.
The SameDay Bot will allow retailers to accept orders from customers nearby, designed to travel along pavements and roadsides.
It is able to navigate around pedestrians and hazards such as unpaved surfaces and steps, as well as running on batteries.
FedEx collaborated with DEKA, whose founder Dean Kamen invented the Segway, on the robot.
It will test the SameDay Bot in several US markets this summer with deliveries between selected FedEX Office locations. It says the robot has attracted interest from a number of partners including Pizza Hut, Target and Walgreens.
Brie Carere, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for FedEx, said the robot would help to reduce the “complexities and expense” of fulfilment.
Brian Philips, President and CEO of FedEx Office, said: “The FedEx SameDay Bot represents the next chapter in our long legacy of delivering innovation and outstanding service, supported by an already existing FedEx logistics ecosystem.
“We are excited to bring this technology to address new markets and better support our customers. The companies who have provided feedback on its potential use have been instrumental in ensuring we are looking toward the future of ecommerce.”
Amazon announced its own trial in the US last month. Six Amazon Scout devices will deliver packages in Snohomish County in Washington state. Customers in the area simply order as they normally would via the site or app.
Estonian start-up Cleveron has also launched a prototype for a robot courier.