(Yicai Global) April 20 -- Chinese delivery company Shentong Express (STO) has recently introduced robots that can sort 18,000 parcels an hour and 200,000 per day.
'Little Orange' was developed by STO and Zhejiang Libiao Robot Co. The bots have been rolled out at the courier's warehouses in Yiwu, Tianjin, and Linyi, saving the firm the need for at least half of its work force.
"These robots saved the manpower of about 30 workers at a 1,300-square meter logistics module," said Chen Yuhao, the information technology supervisor of STO's Yiwu sorting center. "They have higher sorting efficiency and accuracy, and decreased the risk of damage to parcels. We are preparing to establish another module to sort smaller parcels with these robots."
Little Orange mainly focuses on small parcels (not exceeding 60 centimeters long by 50 centimeters wide) that weigh less than 5 kilograms, and integrates three functions -- scanning, weighing, and sorting. The bots can recognize the information of express waybills rapidly and deliver parcels using optimized routes. Their scanning time is under 1 second and they operate at speeds of up to 3 meters per second.
"China's application of robot ranks first in the world," said Paul Dawson, director of global product development in Dyson's environmental electrical team. "We are very interested in how the robots coordinate with workers in future."
There are three varieties of warehouse robots -- sorters, deliverers, and distributors. Zhejiang Libiao Robot Co. introduced Little Orange last June and put it into use comprehensively this year after testing it in many places.