Short of human couriers? Delivery robots come to the fore!

By Qi Xijia Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/17 19:26:09

A food delivery robot brings food to an office worker. Photo: courtesy of Yogo Robot

Eating lunch has become a problem for many office workers as they resume work after the Spring festival holiday amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

Restaurants remain closed, the risk of cross-infection at dining halls persists, and it is troublesome to cook one's own food. 

To address the issues, some office buildings in China have begun using food delivery robots to drop off food orders, trying to ensure safe lunches for the employees.

In an office in Shanghai, a robot is seen moving through the gates, taking the elevator and delivering food to an office worker at lunch time. 

Some clever delivery robots can carry four orders at a time, lock them in a fully enclosed compart-ment and rush them to the correct floor. Meanwhile, mobile phone messages are sent to recipients, who unlock the robot and take their food.

The whole process is completed in merely five minutes thanks to the Internet of Things solutions and a smart route planning system, while the same service would take a human courier 10 minutes, Zhang Xuefei, an employee of the robot's manufacturer Yogo Robot, told the Global Times.

And, robots need not to take a rest. When not busy delivering orders, they can be used to disinfect the building, Zhang added.

Demand for such robots has increased amid efforts to avoid people-to-people contact and control any possible spread of the deadly viral.

"Nine offices in Shanghai have used our food delivery robots and we are seeing demand rising by 30 percent from offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen," Zhang said.

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