FedEx Express unveils autonomous delivery device in Japan
FedEx Express has announced that Roxo, the FedEx SameDay Bot, made its first appearance in Asia Pacific in Japan in July. With its positive regulatory framework, world-class infrastructure, and a fertile environment for the testing and adoption of robotics, Japan is an ideal market for FedEx to explore opportunities to test Roxo in the future.
Roxo is an autonomous specialty delivery device, designed to travel on sidewalks and along roadsides, safely delivering smaller shipments to customers’ homes and businesses. Its features include pedestrian-safe technology, multiple cameras and LiDAR allowing the zero-emission, 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. Proprietary technology makes it highly capable, allowing it to navigate unpaved surfaces, curbs, and to even climb deep flights of steps for an extraordinary door-to-door delivery experience.
Roxo is currently undergoing testing in the US to generate data to ‘train’ the self-driving software and validate safe performance, in compliance with all applicable safety regulations and guidelines. There is significant opportunity in Japan to identify local, case-specific applications to make the best use of the technology to benefit FedEx customers.
“We are thrilled to have Roxo in Japan, a country that is a global leader in robotics implementation. The FedEx SameDay Bot is truly an innovation opening new possibilities for on-demand, same day, hyper-localized delivery,” said Kawal Preet, president of the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA) region at FedEx Express. “As we sit at the intersection of physical and digital networks, Roxo brings a glimpse of the future of logistics, where customers can enjoy same day contactless delivery services at their doorsteps. With businesses of all kinds embarking on digital transformation, we look forward to collaborating with future-ready companies to advance delivery services in Japan and elsewhere in Asia Pacific.”
The bot is developed in collaboration with DEKA Development & Research Corp., a prominent research and development company which also produced the Segway. The bot uses DEKA’s established iBOT electric wheelchair base, capable of negotiating rough terrain, traversing steps, and steep inclines. Its sensors maintain 360-degree awareness of its surroundings and uses artificial intelligence, or AI, to choose the safest path or course of action. With a tall profile it is easy for pedestrians and road users to see. It also uses signals, lights and a signaling screen that clearly communicate its directional intent. Roxo was unveiled in February 2019 and has been undergoing tests with major retailers in the US. US cities where Roxo has been tested include Memphis, Tennessee; Manchester, New Hampshire; and Plano and Frisco, Texas. It made its first international appearance in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in October 2019 for an experimental project with local businesses including Dubai Airports.