FedEx and Vecna Proves Robots and Humans Can Work in Harmony

FedEx and Vecna Robotics, a leader in next-generation mobile robotics, made public their working relationship in a technology-business story featured in FedEx will grow its North Carolina fleet, testing 20 more Vecna robots in hopes of replacing all existing tuggers, a company spokeswoman confirmed to If all goes well, it may broaden the program to other locations across the country.

FedEx must contend with large, irregular items—car tires, canoes, items that don’t fit on the conveyor belt. These unwieldy objects, instead, are loaded onto the back of Vecna’s RT4500 autonomous tugger and chauffeured around the 630,000-square-foot terminal.

Recent changes, however, means those folks who once drove tuggers might now spend more time packing them. Once the trailer is full, workers simply press a button to send the self-driving vehicle on its way; laser-based sensors, cameras, and other navigation tools allow the bots to maneuver safely, according to NYT.

The RT4500 autonomous tugger is built to maximize productivity by automating point-to-point transport of large payloads with flatbed carts or a train of carts. Designed to be operated manually or fully autonomously with the flick of a switch, the RT4500 is suited for applications such as lineside replenishment and horizontal transport of racks, bins, pallets and oversized and/or non-conveyable payloads.

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About Vecna Robotics

Vecna Robotics ( is dedicated to helping companies better compete in today’s e-commerce driven environment with cost-effective automation that improves throughput in distribution and fulfillment. Its fleet of intelligent, next-generation robotic vehicles and AGV optimizes logistics and material-handling operations and work seamlessly alongside humans. With two decades of extensive research and development, Vecna’s case picking, goods-to-person, person-to-goods, robot-conveyor hybrid material handling systems are proven in the most challenging environments. 

Vecna Robotics is a subsidiary of Vecna Technologies, which was founded in 1998 in Cambridge, Mass. with a mission to empower humanity through transformative technologies. The company is dedicated to corporate citizenship and has donated more than 170,000 hours of community service, and team members spend up to 10 percent of their paid work week on a community service project.

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