(Yicai Global) Oct. 27 -- One of China's largest e-commerce operators, 360buy Jingdong Inc. [NYSE:JD] has unveiled a transfer robot it developed. The robot is capable of handling cargos weighing over 300 kg, marking a new breakthrough in fully automated warehousing technology.
On Oct. 26, the company opened its Intelligent Logistics Laboratory to the public for the first time, where Yicai Global viewed the Warehouse Robot AGV. Strongly resembling a robot vacuum cleaner, and with a cargo capacity of over 300 kg, AGV is designed to transfer goods within the warehouse, and features automatic obstacle avoidance and autonomous route planning.
Data provided by Jingdong shows its 'automated warehouse' has a storage operating efficiency 10 times higher than their traditional pallet racking counterparts, and parallel transfer robots can sort goods at a speed five to six times faster than manual sorting.
As of now, Jingdong has filed more than 100 patents related to 'automated warehousing,' said Mr. Xiao Jun, head of Division X at Jingdong. Some of the fully automated warehousing operations technologies demonstrated will deploy for the 'Singles' Day' (Nov. 11) promotions this year, and the entire automated warehousing system will debut on the Singles Day promotions three years from now. Singles' Day is the Chinese equivalent of Black Friday in the US -- a time when retailers offer promotional sales throughout China. Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba introduced it several years ago, and it has since spread over the entire traditional retail market.
Jingdong's Division X formed in May 2016 to oversee the development and operations of a series of intelligent logistic projects, including the fully-automated logistics center, JD unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), JD transfer robots, and self-driving delivery vehicles. The automated warehousing technology the company developed streamlines the warehousing process, while significantly reducing manpower consumption, said Mr. Xiao. The transfer robot and UAV technology aims to open up remaining bottlenecks in logistics operations in rural and urban areas.