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FedEx shuts down last mile delivery robot programme


FedEx is abandoning its self-driving delivery robot service, according to an internal memo obtained by Robotics 24/7.

In an email sent to FedEx employees earlier this month, chief transformation officer Sriram Krishnasam said the company was eliminating Roxo, the same day delivery bot, as part of an internal organisational programme called DRIVE.

“Although robotics and automation are key pillars of our innovation strategy, Roxo did not meet necessary near-term value requirements for DRIVE,” Krishnasam wrote.

“Although we are ending the research and development efforts, Roxo served a valuable purpose: to rapidly advance our understanding and use of robotic technology.”

FedEx said in a statement that it will now focus on “several nearer-term opportunities.”

Roxo was launched in 2019 in collaboration with DEKA Research and Development Corp. The delivery robot was based on DEKA’s iBot electric wheelchair, and was able to navigate pavements, bike lanes, and roads. It had been trialled making same-day deliveries across the US and Dubai.

“We are immensely proud of our role in working with DEKA to advance this cutting-edge technology that has put it on the path to future implementation, and we remain committed to exploring last mile innovations that align with our business strategy,” said FexEx. “The collaboration with DEKA has been outstanding, and we will continue to explore compelling opportunities arising from the technologies we have developed together.”

This news follows Amazon stopping live trials of its automated delivery robot ‘Scout’. The ecommerce giant stated that the programme did not completely meet its customers’ needs.

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