CeMAT 2018, 23 - 27 April
Logistics IT

A new colleague

Mail carriers of the future are set to be joined by the PostBOT - a robot co-worker to help distribute deliveries. The results of a six-week test phase are currently being evaluated.

03 Nov. 2017

The PostBOT was developed in close collaboration with Deutsche Post delivery staff, based on a robot from the French company Effidence S.A.S. It transports both letters and packages and can carry loads of up to 150 kilograms. Equipped with sensors to track the leg movements of mail carriers, the robot follows their routes precisely and can also navigate around obstacles or stop in good time if required. What’s more, control elements have been placed on both sides of the unit to promote good ergonomics for the user's back and joints. This makes the PostBOT a highly companionable colleague as well as a reliable one, as its designers have ensured it is robust enough to work in all weather conditions.

"Day in and day out, our delivery personnel perform outstanding work," says Jürgen Gerdes, who is CEO of the Post - eCommerce - Parcel division at Deutsche Post DHL Group and fully committed to staff wellbeing: "We're constantly working on new solutions to enable our employees to handle this physically challenging work even as they progress in age. We are already using a variety of tools in this regard, including eBikes and eTrikes for postal deliveries, and are now also looking at innovative robot applications." With testing scheduled from the start of October to mid-November in two districts of Bad Hersfeld in Hesse, the PostBOT is the first delivery robot to be trialed by Deutsche Post as a suitable support solution for mail carriers. "This current test is expected to generate important insights into how we can further develop the delivery process for our employees," explains Gerdes. The results of the test, which will initially run for around six weeks, will be assessed for feeding into follow-up tests and further improvements.