MANCHESTER, NH (CBS) – Robots could soon be delivering your packages if you live in Manchester, New Hampshire. FedEx is partnering with Manchester based DEKA Development & Research to test out an autonomous delivery device.
“This is just the next extension of what FedEx has been doing for 45 years,” said FedEx spokesman Jim Masilak.
The robot is designed to make short distance deliveries from local collaborating companies like Target and Walgreens. The FedEx SameDay Bot will travel on roads or sidewalks and come right to your door.
“It has lots of cameras and 360 degree sensors it can see, it responds to red lights,” said Masilak.
The bot will soon be tested in several cities around the country. FedEx is hoping Manchester will be one of them.
“It’s a great opportunity for the city of Manchester,” said Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig.
FedEx presented the robot Tuesday night before the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen. The company was given permission to draft a plan with police and public works. Final approval is still needed before the bots can begin testing.
The robot’s inventor Dean Kamen is good friends with FedEx CEO Fred Smith.
“So he calls me up and said Dean we need to be in the delivery business down at the local pedestrian community level,” said Kamen.
So Kamen took the design of his Manchester company’s iBot, which is a powered wheelchair, and customized it for FedEx. By using the same technology he hopes mass producing these robots will help lower the price of those wheelchairs making them more affordable.
“So it’s going to be a win, win. It’s just letting this community show some real leadership and meet some real needs,” said Kamen.