China Robot Couriers
If you have been to any major Chinese city in the last several years, you probably noticed various types of food delivery services. Anytime, day or night, you can use an app and have food delivered directly to your door. The problem with these services is the reliability. The majority of these couriers are on moped and bikes, swerving in and out of traffic. This gives the potential for your food to be shaken up, spilled, or damaged on delivery. The same problem applies to packages and other delivered goods. That is why one of China’s largest online market places, JD. Com Inc, developed its robot couriers.
The Robot Couriers
JD.com Inc’s new robot carriers are designed to efficiently deliver packages, letters, and even food anywhere around the city. The robots follow the best routes based on a series of calculations, ensuring efficiency. The couriers have state-of-the-art laser radars and cameras, allowing them to have the capability to navigate roads, avoiding obstacles, and even recognizing traffic lights. These couriers have varying sizes, but in general they move at three to four kilometers an hour. They are also designed to send recipients messages minutes before their package is about to arrive. The system can utilize a facial recognition system or a code input system to ensure that the items and goods are being delivered to the proper recipient. Depending on the size of the courier and the packages it is transporting it can carry anywhere between six and twenty packages at one time.
Test Runs and the Future
Earlier this month JD.com Inc tested its first robot courier at Renmin University in Beijing. The courier successfully delivered its first item to the CEO at the university. Other schools around the country, such as Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, and Chang’an University also were used as test sites. JD.com Inc, plans on expanding their fleet of robot couriers to one hundred by the end of this year. They plan on starting in other universities and residential communities in Beijing, Hangzhou, and Xi’an. However, in the future they can be used across cities worldwide. These new robot couriers have the potential to disrupt courier services as we know it. Making deliveries easier, quicker, and more effient than ever.