USPS Delivery Vehicle

The United States Postal Service recently was granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark office for “Methods and Systems for in-route item sorting and packaging.”

In the patent, USPS explains that a sorting robot would have the “means for grasping items and moving them between the item storage bins.”

Furthermore, “The robot may assemble item packages from [a] plurality of individual items based on addresses of the items.”

The robot then would be able to shrink wrap the items, “forming the items into a package that is easy to deliver to a single address.”

Here is the perspective view of an exemplary freight bay as provided in a drawing by the USPS in its patent.

USPS Robot in Freight Bay of Delivery Vehicle - Patent Drawing
Source: US Trademark and Patent Office

USPS trying to save labor costs

The primary goals of the patent appear to be about saving labor and making deliveries more efficient.

In the patent, the post office states that “current methods of item delivery are expensive, at least in part due to personnel costs.”

As the postal service continues to lose money, it is looking outside the box to find better ways to sort and deliver items.

Amazon has a few patents that are unusual and probably will never see the light of day.

READ MORE: Amazon new robotic fulfillment patent includes references to dwarf tossing

This patent granted to the USPS has potential and makes some sense. The postal service could also license the patent to other logistics companies, thereby creating an additional revenue stream to help its bottom line.


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3 Comments

  1. If the package could be scanned and the robot place the package in the vehicle. Then upon arriving at the next delivery address, the robot have the package placed for the delivery to be made in proper sequence. That would be a huge time saver by not having to search for a package. Oversize and over whatever determined weight maximum can be given a floor staging area to let the carrier know where to find it.

  2. That’s all nice, but why can’t they get proper cooling and heating in the LLV’s. When you can cook a steak on the dashboard of your LLV in two hours, and keep your drinks freezing cold all winter. Impress us, A/C the LLV’s so people quit getting sick from heat exhaustion

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