DOA. You hear the term on television cop shows all the time. Dead. On. Arrival. FedEx, Amazon, Walmart, and other delivery and retail giants are trying to automate their deliveries, get rid of humans, so they can make more money. The problem?
Bats, Dogs, Rocks, Oh My!
What the YouTube and television news stories never tell you about drones and delivery robots is how they will deal with humanity.
Haley Peterson has the setup:
FedEx reveals a package-delivering robot backed by Walmart, Target, and Lowe’s that can climb stairs and carry hot food
Cool, right? A robot knocks on the door and you get pizza from Pizza Hut, Domino’s or wherever. Need socks or groceries? Go online, select what you want, place the order, and the delivery robot knocks on your door. Or, the delivery drone honks a horn outside and then leaves a package on the porch.
Uh huh. right! What’s the problem? Baseball bats, neighborhood dogs, kids with rocks.
The FedEx Same-Day Bot can deliver packages and hot food from stores and restaurants to customers’ homes.
In theory, yes. In reality, some neighborhoods will never see the delivery drone and robot lights, regardless of the technology or how many big box retailers sign up.
The FedEx delivery robot looks cool because it is designed to walk up stairs.
The Bot features a large white cube atop four wheels. The wheels allow the Bot to climb stairs and maneuver easily over uneven ground, according to videos of the battery-powered machine in action.
Humans get mugged trying to deliver fast food and boxes left on doorsteps or porches are routinely pilfered, so you know the worst of humanity will show up with baseball bats, rocks, and hooded drivers in pickup trucks to take a few whacks at the automated beasts trolling through the neighborhood.
Lowes’ VP Don Frieson:
Consider pros who could save time and money by never leaving the job site for the critical tools and supplies they need from Lowe’s. We look forward to exploring all the possibilities to enhance the service we provide our customers through this innovation.
Uh huh. Sure.
I look forward to home security cams capturing the beasts getting beaten up by neighborhood vandals.
Target COO John Mulligan:
We’re excited to be collaborating with FedEx to explore how autonomous robots could enhance delivery services and more, ensuring we continue to exceed our guests’ expectations for ease and convenience.
I suspect that wood baseball bats will do more damage than aluminum bats, but a strategically place rock or even a lasso will go viral on YouTube within the first week of such tests.
The initial test will involve deliveries between FedEx Office locations.
That makes sense. What neighborhood is safer than a fenced and guarded FedEx office? Sorry, the drone and robot delivery business is dead on arrival. But it will be fun to watch what happens on YouTube.