Alibaba Debuts Cloud Computer, Delivery Robots at Cloud Computing Conference

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Alibaba Cloud also unveiled its autonomous logistics robot for last-mile deliveries. Developed by the Alibaba DAMO Academy, the global research initiative by Alibaba Group, the delivery robot can carry 50 packages at one time and cover 62 miles (or 100 kilometres) on a single charge. It is estimated the mobile robot should be able to deliver as many as 500 packages a day to one designated community or campus, meeting the rising demand for speedy last-mile delivery in China. Online shopping is booming there, with 200 million packages delivered daily and expectations that will rise to 1 billion packages per day in the coming years.

“We are expecting a rapid spike of delivery demands brought by the thriving New Retail and local services businesses in the increasingly digitalized world,” added Zhang. “To meet the strong delivery demand for our internal business growth and for the larger society, we have been in smart logistics, including logistics robots, for years. We are glad to launch our latest mobile delivery robot, which will support Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics platform, to serve communities, campuses and business parks in China. “

“Moving ahead, we aim to support the delivery needs of our local services businesses and leverage our technologies for other types of service robots, such as service robots in the airport and tourism guide robots in scenic spots.”

Supported with reinforced learning technologies, the intelligent robot can schedule its route even in a crowded environment. With proprietary, high-definition positioning technology, the robot can operate even where there’s weak or no GPS signal. Leveraging a self-developed heterogeneous computing platform, 3D Point Cloud Semantic Segmentation (PCSS) technology and deep learning, the robot can also identify obstacles and predict the intended movement of passengers and vehicles a few seconds ahead of time to enhance safety.