MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The FedEx robot made its debut at the Memphis city council meeting Tuesday.
It was the first time the shipping giant showed off its robot ahead of summer testing in Memphis.
The city says FedEx approached them early this year wanting to test the bot on Memphis streets and sidewalks.
“Because of our history with Memphis with it being our hometown, we wanted to bring the bot here for our testing and to be the first city to be able to roll it out,” said FedEx VP of Communications Jenny Robertson.
FedEx’s same day bot got some oohs and ahhs from Memphis City Council members Tuesday.
The autonomous battery powered robot weighs about 200 pounds and can carry up to 100 pounds.
The city and FedEx are still working through test parameters and routes, and the city’s legal, public works, and engineering departments are involved.
We do know a relatively small number of the bots will be tested in Memphis from July to August, and it will start between FedEx office facilities.
The bot is monitored by a remote operator at all times who can intervene when needed.
During the testing the robot will have an additional chaperone with a maximum speed set for 10 miles an hour.
“The bot is going to operate with the technology that exists today we have different connectivity and different kinds of Street and different kind of infrastructure all over the city so we are going to test it in different environments,” said City of Memphis COO Doug McGowen.
City officials said they don't think theft will be a problem.
“They have a lot of sensors on it and people are going to know where it is so it won’t be very hard to find,” McGowen said.
FedEx unveiled the new autonomous delivery on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in February.
The FedEx SameDay Bot is designed to travel on sidewalks and along roadsides.
It has pedestrian-friendly technology and multiple cameras, allowing the battery-powered robot to be aware of its surroundings.
The company plans to start using the bot later this year in Memphis and other select cities.