Deutsche Post employees in the small German town of Bad Hersfeld will have their load of letters and parcels lightened thanks to robot on wheels aimed at helping out with deliveries. Amy Pollock reports.
German posties have a new helper. Deutsche Post employees in Bad Hersfeld are being followed by this battery-powered PostBOT It can carry loads of up to 150kg and navigate around obstacles SOUNDBITE (German) DEUTSCHE POST SPOKESPERSON, THOMAS KUTSCH, SAYING: "It can scale kerbs. It cannot climb stairs and does not go to the second floor on its own. But, what she does, the robot also does. And if she stops, it stops. And then she can get the parcels and deliver them to the respective households." PostBOT can carry up to six post trays. It uses sensors to track the legs of the postal worker it's following and is rainproof. Postal workers have to handle heavy packages, particularly with the rise of online shopping SOUNDBITE (German) DEUTSCHE POST EMPLOYEE, CINDY REXRODT, SAYING: "We have a kind of trolley that takes about 40 to 45 kilos, and to push and move that for five hours is very difficult. PostBOT provides relief because it takes a lot. It's great. " The PostBOT design is based on a robot made by French company Effidence. The trial runs for six weeks, after which Deutsche Post will see if further improvements can be made.