Rise of the PostBOT?

Deutsche Post DHL has announced it is running a six week long test of PostBOT delivery robots in the town of Bad Hersfeld in Germany.

The robots are known as PostBOTs and are self-propelled vehicles that will accompany mail delivery people in two districts of the town. Each PostBOT has a payload capacity of 150kg and will relieve their personnel of heavy loads.

“This current test is expected to deliver important insights into how we can further develop the delivery process for our employees,” said Jürgen Gerdes, chief executive of the Post – eCommerce – Parcel division.

Deutsche Post developed the PostBOT with the French company Effidence SAS. What makes the machine different from electric carts is that the machine’s sensors track the mail carrier’s legs and follows behind them at a certain distance across the whole of their routes. The PostBOT can navigate around obstacles or stop as required.

The PostBOPT machine is capable of working in all conditions, and control elements are on both sides of the machine for good ergonomics.

After the first six week trial, there will be an assessment period that will lead to another round of tests of the PostBOT system with a view to improving them. As with so many systems, only live field trials will find any problems that can happen in the real world.  
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