Adorable red self-driving robot delivering mail in Japan during pandemic

A Japan Post mail delivery robot debuts in Tokyo, and is being tested to keep human interaction to a minimum during the coronavirus crisis.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton

The new mail robot from Japan Post will deliver packages and mail to help minimize human contact during the coronavirus quarantine.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Robots in Japan can add mail delivery to their resumes. Japan Post unveiled a self-driving mail delivery robot in Tokyo Wednesday as a solution for minimizing human contact during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The adorable red DeliRo robot is equipped with built-in cameras and sensors so it can avoid obstacles such as utility poles. It can also cross busy intersections by reading the traffic lights.

The postal robot developed by ZMP can carry packages weighing up to 66 pounds (30 kilograms) and can travel at the speed of 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) per hour. Japan Post hopes to put the self-driving delivery robots into regular use by 2021, The Japan Times reports

Japan Post is running the mail robot through a series of delivery tests that started on Sept. 18 and will continue through late October. 

Based on those test results, the Japanese government may have to lessen its current regulations on autonomous delivery robots, which are not allowed to use sidewalks or public roads without a human handler nearby.