Who will become the new darling of the logistics industry?Robots and drones compete

AsiaIndustrial NetNews: Recently, HaikangrobotThe intelligent sorting robot “Little Orange Man” independently developed by the company quickly became popular. Although this “Little Orange Man” looks petite, round and cute, but as the saying goes, “a sparrow is small and has all the internal organs”, through its intelligent robot sorting system, 300 “Little Orange Man” can sort 20,000 pieces per hour pack.

Indeed, in recent years, the application of Robots in the field of logistics has been deepening, and a wave of “artificial intelligence + logistics” has been set off around the world. On March 3 this year, the governor of Virginia signed a bill allowing robots to deliver couriers, which will take effect on July 1. According to the bill, courier companies can use robots with a speed of no more than 10 miles per hour to deliver couriers from July 1 this year, and the goods delivered do not exceed 50 pounds (about 22.6 kilograms).

In addition, according to the BBC’s news on April 17, Hermes express company announced that it will start testing automatic delivery robots on the streets of London. Developed by Estonian delivery robotics company Starship Technologies, the self-driving robot is a six-wheeled robot designed to pick up packages. Just Eat, the UK’s largest food delivery provider, is already using the robot to deliver food in certain areas of London. The delivery robot is 55 centimeters tall, 70 centimeters long, weighs 18 kilograms, and can reach speeds of up to 6.4 km/h.

In addition to robots, drones are also the right-hand man in the logistics industry. As the founder of express delivery drones, Amazon first began to test delivery drones. After several system upgrades, Amazon drones have a “brain”, making delivery more intelligent. For this upgrade, Amazon spent huge sums of money to acquire a European computer vision team headquartered in Graz, Austria. The members are all elites in computer vision. After they belong to Amazon, their main task is to help Amazon’s unmanned The machine is equipped with a “brain” to overcome visual barriers and deliver precise delivery.

On the other hand, in terms of policies, promoting technological innovation has become an important task for the development of the express delivery industry. The “Thirteenth Five-Year Plan for the Development of the Express Delivery Industry” issued by the State Post Bureau clearly states that express delivery companies are encouraged to adopt advanced and applicable technologies and equipment to promote the research and development and application of robots, drones and unmanned vehicles. On the other hand, many express companies have begun to deploy unmanned vehicles and drones in the field of logistics.

Take SF Express as an example. In 2013, SF Express began to test drones to deliver packages. According to SF’s annual report, as of February 2017, SF Holding had declared and obtained 111 patents in the field of drones. In addition, JD’s drones have also been put into operation in Beijing, Xi’an and other places. It is reported that as of November 2016, JD’s drones have completed more than 10,000 minutes of flight time, nearly 10,000 kilometers of flight mileage, and more than 1,000 flight times.

In the current smart logistics industry, robots and drones are rare capable players. The robot runs smoothly and has many advantages compared to aerial drones, such as being able to carry heavier cargo and easier to control the driving route. However, the ground robots will be closely supervised by operators.

Taking the Starship ground robot as an example, each operator will supervise three robots through on-board cameras and control them to cross roads or other challenging situations. However, Starship says each operator should be able to control up to 100 robots, which will greatly improve the cost-effectiveness of its operations. From this point of view, both express robots and delivery drones have their own advantages and disadvantages. How to choose depends on the diversified market demand.

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