The Chinese multinational e-commerce retail, Alibaba has just announced a driverless robot that will deliver online purchased food to customers.
The robot is named as G Plus and is currently being tested at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China. The G Plus robot can accommodate multiple delivery packages of different sizes. It has a storage locker that works with facial recognition to help keep the food warm. Customers can also set the temperature of the storage locker with the mobile app just to ensure that food is kept warm or cool.
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According to Alibaba, the loading box of the G Plus can vary in size depending on the package it needs to deliver. The robot has an inbuilt navigation system that depends on Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) system to make a 3D map of the location where the package supposed to be delivered. G Plus has a traveling stamina longer than its predecessors.
With the in-built navigation system, the robot can sense the traffic around it and then change its speed accordingly. It can reduce its speed to 6.2 mph to leave enough room for nearby vehicles. The maximum speed it has is 9.3 mph. Once the package is delivered at the destination, a customer can walk up, enter a pin and receive the parcel.
In addition to the delivery robots, Alibaba also revealed a Cainiao box, which customers can install right outside the door of their apartments. It’s a storage locker equipped with facial recognition system that will only unlock for delivery people and customers.
Alibaba is looking forward to strengthening its own delivery network. In April, it had has acquired a food delivery startup, Ele.me to expand in China’s rapidly growing market for the local delivery of food and other services. The deal is worth around enterprise valuation of $9.5 billion, as reported by TechCrunch.