The robots are coming, and they're bringing pizza.
FedEx unveiled its delivery robot, the SameDay Bot, Tuesday on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The autonomous six-wheeled robot, which has a 100-pound payload capacity, is designed to make same-day and last-mile deliveries of items ranging from pizza and packages to groceries. It is the newest addition to a growing list of delivery robots, which includes the Amazon Scout, which is still under development, and Starship Technologies' delivery robots, which are already in use. FedEx's SameDay Bot is still in the prototype stage, but the company says it will begin testing the robot this summer in cities including Memphis, pending final city approval.
"The FedEx SameDay Bot is an innovation designed to change the face of local delivery and help retailers efficiently address their customers' rising expectations," said Brie Carere, FedEx's executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer, in a press release. The logistics company is partnering with retailers including Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Pizza Hut, Lowe's, and AutoZone to test the delivery device. FedEx will also test the SameDay Bot in areas where the company already offers a same-day service provided by couriers.
During the Tonight Show appearance, the SameDay Bot demonstrated its ability to move over sand and rocks, and even climb up a step. Unlike Amazon's Scout, which resembles a cooler on wheels, the SameDay Bot has an upright design that looks vaguely similar to the cartoon robot Rosie from The Jetsons.
FedEx developed the prototype with DEKA Research & Development Corp., a private company founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen. FedEx says the SameDay Bot will be refined to meet customers' specific needs, as well as safety standards and regulations.