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Less than two months after its birth, Alibaba’s logistics robot Xiaomanlv is being used in real-world scenarios. On October 30, 22 logistics robots led by Xiaomanlv entered the Zijingang campus of Zhejiang University to prepare for Double 11. During this year’s Double 11, Alibaba will provide a robot-only delivery service at Zhejiang University. These robots will deliver more than 30,000 packages to Zhejiang University.
Zhejiang University surpasses many universities and colleges in China in the number of packages during Double 11 every year. There are about 70,000 teachers, students, and staff at the Zijingang campus. It is estimated that in addition to the packages picked up by users, 30,000 packages will use the home delivery service to the Zijingang campus during the 2020 Double 11 Global Shopping Festival.
To relieve the peak pressure and improve the efficiency of end delivery, Alibaba has deployed a logistics robot team at Zhejiang University to meet home delivery requirements. Currently, 22 robots have completed site collection and route planning and are lined up in the dormitory area to wait for orders. At 9:00 a.m. on November 1, they will divide into 16 groups and deliver packages to 27 dormitories. Users need to make an online appointment for delivery, and the robot will deliver the package within ten minutes.
The leaders of the robot team are Xiaomanlv, which were created in September 2020. They were developed by Alibaba DAMO Academy and integrated with cutting-edge AI and auto-driving technologies from DAMO Academy. With human-like cognitive intelligence, their emergency response speed is seven times faster than humans. The robots can easily deal with complex road conditions and select the optimal path in seconds.
The Double 11 Global Shopping Festival has caused a rapid burst in China’s logistics delivery demand over the years. On November 11, 2018, logistics orders exceeded one billion for the first time. In the near future, one billion packages per day are likely to become a normal occurrence. This year’s Double 11 started ahead of schedule, so the demand for delivery capability is even higher compared to previous years. Alibaba’s robots have received a large number of support requests from schools, communities, and industrial parks. In addition to Zhejiang University, a neighborhood in Hangzhou has also switched to the robot-only delivery mode.
Wang Gang, the Head of DAMO Academy’s auto-driving lab, said, “Xiaomanlv is the first logistics robot in the industry that can achieve mass production. DAMO Academy hopes to use technical means to improve the end delivery efficiency, meet mass social needs, and let robots take over end logistics.” According to DAMO Academy, the mass production plan of Xiaomanlv is accelerating, and they will appear in large numbers next year.