If it performs well in the testbed country, the zero-emission autonomous bot may be rolled out to the rest of Asia.

This month marks the arrival in Japan of an innovative autonomous robot that, when rolled out, will deliver parcels and packages in the country on a ‘same-day’ last-mile delivery promise.

Roxo the FedEx SameDay Bot is an autonomous specialty delivery device, designed to travel on sidewalks and along roadsides, safely delivering smaller shipments to customers’ homes and businesses.

Its smart features include pedestrian-safe technology, multiple cameras and LiDAR powered by a zero-emission, battery. These features are coupled with AI and ML algorithms to detect and avoid obstacles, plot a safe path, and allow the bot to follow traffic light, road and pedestrian safety rules. Proprietary technology allows Roxo to navigate unpaved surfaces, curbs, and to even climb deep flights of steps in its door-to-door delivery mission.

Roxo has been tested on streets in the USA since 2019, and is under development in collaboration with DEKA Development & Research Corp., the research and development company that also produced the Segway. The bot runs on DEKA’s electric wheelchair base and added sensors maintain 360-degree awareness of its surroundings.

With a tall profile Roxo is easy for pedestrians and road users to see. It also uses signals, lights and a signaling screen that clearly communicate its directional intent to pedestrians.

Japan was chosen as a good testbed due to its robot-friendly culture and technological experience in robotics. According to Kawal Preet, President (Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa), 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 the Asia Pacific region soon.”