Robot food delivery in Shanghai a China first

China Plus Published: 2017-10-11 19:04:33
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ele.me, one of China's largest meal ordering and delivery services, has launched the country's first food delivery robot at a business center in Hongqiao District in Shanghai.

China's first food delivery robot at an office building in Shanghai on Oct 11. [Photo: VCG]

China's first food delivery robot at an office building in Shanghai on Oct 11. [Photo: VCG]

Many office buildings don't allow delivery drivers inside, but this robot is designed to freely shuttle back and forth inside a building delivering meal orders to the designated location and on time.

With a maximum capacity of 80 kilograms, the robot can deliver up to three meal orders at a time.

A sensor embedded in the robot allows it to plan the best route to its destination, avoiding obstacles, taking elevators automatically, tackling any kind of floor surfaces, such as slippery or wooden floors, rugs, or even gentle slopes.

China's first food delivery robot at an office building in Shanghai on Oct 11. [Photo: VCG]

China's first food delivery robot at an office building in Shanghai on Oct 11. [Photo: VCG]

When the robot arrives, the customer will get a reminder text on their smartphone and the screen of the robot will display the slot number of the meal. Users simply need to tap the screen to "confirm" their order and the whole delivery process is completed.

The robot's battery can last eight hours, and it will automatically return and charge itself when it's running out of battery power.

A customer removes the ordered meal from the robot at an office building in Shanghai on Oct 11. [Photo: VCG]

A customer removes the ordered meal from the robot at an office building in Shanghai on Oct 11. [Photo: VCG]

Running in the background is actually a large intelligent robot delivery system, which is expected to be a crucial part of the logistic system for ele.me in the future. The system has been wholly developed by their team and will be widely used in fulfilling meal orders placed on both the ele.me and Baidu platforms.

ele.me along with Baidu and Meituan are China's three largest food ordering and delivery companies. In August this year, Baidu officially sold the food delivery service to ele.me but the two brands are still operating independently.

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