Now ro­bot is the new mail­man

The Sunday Guardian - - The Week -

BER­LIN: Postal work­ers in the west­ern Ger­man town of Bad Hers­feld are get­ting a help­ing hand from a new col­league. A bright yel­low, four-wheeled ro­bot will carry mail and pack­ages and fol­low them as they do their rounds. The scheme is be­ing tried by Ger­man postal and lo­gis­tics com­pany Deutsche Post DHL, which says the cus­tom-built “Post­BOT” can carry loads of up to 150 kilo­grammes and can nav­i­gate around ob­sta­cles. With the rise of on­line shop­ping, postal work­ers are hav­ing to han­dle ever-heav­ier pack­ages. Deutsche Post staff al­ready have ac­cess to elec­tric bikes and trikes to help them with their de­liv­er­ies. The ro­bot, which can carry up to six post trays, uses sen­sors to track the legs of the postal worker and can be used in all weather con­di­tions, the com­pany said. “Day in and day out, our de­liv­ery staff per­forms out­stand­ing but ex­haust­ing work. We’re con­stantly work­ing on new so­lu­tions to al­low our em­ploy­ees to han­dle this phys­i­cally chal­leng­ing work even as they con­tinue to age,” Deutsche Post ex­ec­u­tive Juer­gen Gerdes said in a state­ment. The “Post­BOT” de­sign is based on a ro­bot from French com­pany Ef­fi­dence. The trial in two de­liv­ery dis­tricts in Bad Hers­feld will run for six weeks, af­ter which Deutsche Post will as­sess the project to see how fur­ther im­prove­ments can be made.

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