One of China’s popular online retail stores, JD.com (Jingdong Mall) carried out its first robot delivery yesterday. Jingdong has been working on using robots in some of its departments just like Amazon. The online mall now has a UAV operations center that oversees the use of robots in logistics and distribution.
At exactly 9:00 AM yesterday, Jingdong delivered its first product using a robot from its branch at the Renmin University of China in Beijing. The package was delivered to a lecture hall a few hundred meters from the store.
Jingdong says for robot deliveries, a message is sent via the Jingdong app, SMS or email to inform owners of their orders. The message also contains a code that will be used to access the robot’s package compartment to retrieve their order.
Jingdong says the robot has sensors that helps it avoid obstacles including cars and pedestrians and will automatically stop once the obstacle is about 3 meters away. It is also able to climb slopes with an incline angle of up to 25°.
Jingdong says it is also testing the new mode of delivery in other universities like the Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, and Chang’an University to name a few. Each robot can carry up to 5 packages and make between 10 to 20 deliveries per day.
Other features the retail giant plans to roll out in its robot delivery system include facial recognition, ability to carry heavy items, and the ability to work under any weather condition. Jingdong says it will still continue to use regular human delivery alongside the new delivery system.