FedEx Office is adding a new kind of worker in North Texas: a robot that can deliver a hot pepperoni pizza, a bag of groceries or a prescription to a customer’s home. The bot could bring a swab for a strep test to a sick person’s door and return hours later with medication, cough drops and a cup of chicken noodle soup.
Starting in July, the robots, dubbed same-day bots, will be put to the test in the real world. FedEx Office will run the bots through routes in Plano and Frisco. They will join pedestrians on sidewalks and roll beside cars on the roadside.
The bots will also be tested in Memphis, near parent company FedEx's headquarters, and in Manchester, N.H., near the headquarters of DEKA, the engineering firm that designed them.
For Plano-based FedEx Office, the bots represent a large untapped business opportunity. FedEx Office, which was formerly Kinko's, has more than 1,500 employees in Plano. It has about 1,900 locations and 15,000 employees in the U.S.