Human Robotics

When the mailman gets a helper

PostBOT is the name Deutsche Post has given to the robot currently accompanying mail carriers on their rounds in Bad Hersfeld. The robot aims to make its human colleague’s work easier for them, but not to take over their job.

09 Okt. 2017
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PostBOT (Source: Deutsche Post)

PostBOT is the name Deutsche Post has given to the robot currently accompanying mail carriers on their rounds in Bad Hersfeld. The robot aims to make its human colleague’s work easier for them, but not to take over their job.

In two delivery areas in Bad Hersfeld in the German federal state of Hesse, a robot has recently been helping mail carriers do their job. PostBOT is equipped with six trays in which it stores mail, freeing up the human mail carrier’s hands and relieving them of carrying sometimes heavy mail items themselves. A Hersfeld municipal employee is also going to be trialing the robot, to distribute the mail between the city’s administrative offices. With its pilot test, Deutsche Post wants to find out how robots can support mail carriers in their physically challenging work in the future.

The self-propelled electric robot can carry loads of up to 150 kg. Its sensors track the legs of the mail carrier, following behind them automatically throughout the entire route. It can navigate around obstacles on the sidewalk or stop when needed. PostBOT is, however, not the first delivery drone on wheels. Delivery drones from pizza chain Domino’s have been out and about on deliveries in Hamburg with no human companion since May.

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