business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Dallas Morning News reports that FedEx Office is going to begin testing a new robotic delivery system in North Texas that “can deliver a hot pepperoni pizza, a bag of groceries or a prescription to a customer’s home. The bot could bring a swab for a strep test to a sick person’s door and return hours later with medication, cough drops and a cup of chicken noodle soup.”

The robots will begin being used in July, serving Plano and Frisco, and “will join pedestrians on sidewalks and roll beside cars on the roadside … The six-wheeled bot looks like a white cargo box that's attached to the base of a high-tech wheelchair. It can carry up to 100 pounds but can fit through a standard doorway. It's powered by a rechargeable battery and uses software, sensors and a 360-degree camera to navigate. It can climb steps, wade through puddles and roll through gravel, sand or snow. When it arrives at its destination, the customer can unlock the bot's sliding door with an app or a punched-in code.”

The story says that “with the on-demand economy, companies from startups to Fortune 500s are looking for creative and cost-effective ways to make speedy deliveries. They’ve enlisted the help of gig economy workers and experimented with tech-driven approaches such as drones and robots.

“The bots are FedEx’s answer,” while also being a way for FedEx Office to expand its business relevance.
KC's View:
As the great Jimmy Durante once said, “Everybody wants to get into the act.”

It seems to me that it is just a matter of time before these systems get so much traction that they become commonplace.