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The electrically-powered PostBOT automatically follows the mail carriers on their rounds through the Smart City of Bad Hersfeld . The Effidence -based assistant has been operating since October in two delivery districts and is able to transport up to six full mail trays. Its sensors track the legs of the mail carrier and it follows them wherever they go. The mail carriers benefit from this in two ways. Not only are they relieved of their heavy loads (after all, they carry up to 130 kg of mail every day), but they also have their hands free, making it easier for them to deliver the mail items.

The purpose of the test that will run for roughly six weeks is to show how well the robots can assist human mail carriers with their physically demanding work in future. It’s obviously working well. According to a report published by heise.de , there were no problems in the first month. A decision on whether to continue with the project is due at the end of November.

Numerous other companies from the trade and industry sectors are already experimenting with similar solutions. logistra.de reports that the Estonian robotics start-up firm Starship has just recently carried out an initial assessment after 100,000 kilometers of customer deliveries. In Hamburg, the parcel delivery service Hermes and Domino’s Pizza are using the little robots. The main benefit for the customers lies in the fact that more deliveries can be made during evening peak times.