It’s easy to make fun of Australia Post‘s track record with parcel delivery, but you have to understand they take it very seriously: every time a postie has a parcel for you they will undertake the required due diligence of arriving at your house, standing on the road, whispering ‘hello’, and subsequently leaving in a cloud of postie bike tire smoke without checking to see if you heard them.
This could all change though, with Australia Post trialling an autonomous robot that can deliver your parcels outside of business hours. That’s right: in the near future, a robot could also fail to deliver you that thing you bought off eBay when you were drunk.
The robot (nicknamed ‘Billy the Box‘) resembles something between a child’s drawing of a car and an astronaut’s helmet with wheels and is getting its first bash in the Brisbane suburb of New Farm, because according to Australia Post the people of New Farm are bloody raging with horniness for ordering shit online (slight paraphrase).
Constrained by the fact that Billy is a small car on very small wheels, he (it? they?) will operate by rolling around the footpath and texting you when he rocks up at your house. You’ll be given a one-off access code, which unlocks him and makes your parcel available to you.
Billy is weatherproof and avoids obstacles, which will solve most issues you would expect an autonomous postie to face, but is still vulnerable to the classic ‘two people picking you up and putting you in the back of your ute’ attack.
Wrap your eyes around Billy trundling his little 100-kilo chassis about the streets like he’s real hot shit:
I look forward to the first stories of him returning to the post office horribly defaced by neighbourhood teens.