FedEx Unveils Autonomous Delivery Robot

Its SameDay Bot will autonomously deliver products, designed to help retailers make same-day and last-mile deliveries to their customers.


FedEx has unveiled its most recent development in cutting-edge delivery solutions that will meet the rapidly changing needs of consumers. Its SameDay Bot will autonomously deliver products, designed to help retailers make same-day and last-mile deliveries to their customers. 

 With the bot, retailers will be able to accept orders from nearby customers and deliver them by the bot. FedEx is already collaborating with big named companies to help assess their autonomous delivery needs. 

"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."

The bot is being developed in collaboration with DEKA Development & Research Corp. 

"The bot has unique capabilities that make it unlike other autonomous vehicles," DEKA founder Dean Kamen says. "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 will travel on sidewalks and along roadsides, safely delivering smaller shipments to customers' homes and businesses. It has pedestrian-safe technology and multiple cameras, allowing the zero-emissions, battery-powered bot 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. In addition, proprietary technology makes the bot highly capable, allowing it to navigate unpaved surfaces, curbs and even steps for an extraordinary door-to-door delivery experience. 

FedEx plans on testing the bot in Memphis and will involve deliveries between selected office locations. The company currently offers a SameDay City service that operates in 32 markets and 1,900 cities using branded FedEx vehicles and uniformed FedEx employees. 

“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,” says Brian Philips, President and CEO of FedEx Office. “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 e-commerce.” 

The FedEx bot will support retailers in several segments, and the first group of retail customers to view the prototype have recognized the value the technology can bring to their industries.