Business / Companies

Say goodbye to deliverymen and hello to robots

By Meng Jing ( Updated: 2016-05-27 17:26

Caoniao, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's logistics offshoot, is working on developing robots that can deliver the goods purchased by China's 400 million online shoppers.

Zhejiang Cainiao Supply Chain Management Co, as it is formally known, said on Friday that it is developing China's first crew of robot deliverymen, which are expected to put into use within this year.

According to the company, the robots are suited to help delivery parcels in residential communities, industrial parks and offices buildings. They can come up with the best routes to deliver packages into the hands of customers after picking up the goods at a nearby distribution center.

The robots are designed to be able to take elevators by themselves, avoid barriers, and navigate themselves inside buildings.

The robots are developed by E.T Logistic Lab. The lab, which was founded by Cainiao at the end of 2015, aims to develop cutting-edge products that can meet the demand of logistic industry in the future.

Apart from robot deliverymen, the lab is also working on robots that can help sorting parcels in warehouses and drones that can delivery parcels in rural areas.

Founded by Alibaba and a consortium of logistics companies, Cainiao is different in that it operates a proprietary logistics information platform that links a network of providers, warehouses and distribution centers – a technology that offers better efficiency and cost savings.

Caoniao said that it facilities the delivery of more than 15 billion parcels a year.

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