In times of artificial intelligence and the increasing automation of robotics, it is impressive what machines can already do today. Whether they play the piano, help with household chores or perform operating theatres, robotics is on the advance. Deutsche Post has also recognized this trend and is now testing the Postbot in Bad Hersfeld, which will be a great help for all postmen in the future.
Colleague “Postbot”: The postman gets help from a robot (Source: afpde)
The Post-Robot is based on a development by the French robotics company Effidence, which actually developed its Effibot to relieve logistics. For Deutsche Post, the cooperation with the French company is nothing new, as DHL has been using the autonomous EffiBOT transport systems in its warehouses since 2016. For postal operations, the warehouse operator’s best friend has now been rebuilt for delivery operations.
The robot is equipped with sensors that help it to detect obstacles on the way and at the same time keep an eye on its postman in order to follow him every step of the way.
The postman is supposed to relieve the delivery staff and help them to stay fit longer. Postal delivery staff in particular often complain of very severe physical wear and tear due to the strenuous work. The Postbot, which can transport up to 150 kilograms of mail, is intended to replace the traditional, heavy cart used by postmen.
“We are not introducing such equipment to replace jobs.” – Postal Director Jürgen Gerdes
The intelligent postman’s companion therefore does not collect any data and does not have the ability to relieve the postman of his work. For this reason, the trade union also sees the advantages and praises the fact that Deutsche Post has thought about solving the great weight load of its employees.
Deutsche Post is in good company, because postal delivery staff in other countries are also testing robots as useful tools for delivery staff. Swiss Post, for example, tested distribution robots between mid-October 2017 and January 2018 and is now planning further steps to roll out the robots.
It remains to be seen how the Postbot will proceed and whether it will be rolled out throughout Germany after the successful tests in Bad Hersfeld, but currently the robot is a good step in the right direction.
Post Picture: Deutsche Post