China's e-commerce dynamo JD makes deliveries via mobile robots

Robohub

China's second-biggest e-commerce company, JD.com (Alibaba is first), is testing mobile robots to make deliveries to its customers, and imagining a future with fully unmanned logistics systems. On the last day of a two-week-long shopping bonanza that recorded sales of around $13 billion, some deliveries were made using mobile robots designed by JD. It's the first time that the company has used delivery robots in the field. The bots delivered packages to multiple Beijing university campuses such as Tsinghua University and Renmin University. JD has been testing delivery robots since November last year.


Reconfigurable Path Planning for an Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

AAAI Conferences

In this paper, we present a motion planning framework for a fully deployed autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle which integrates two sample-based motion planning techniques, Probabilistic Roadmaps and Rapidly Exploring Random Trees. Additionally, we incorporate dynamic reconfigurability into the framework by integrating the motion planners with the control kernel of the UAV in a novel manner with little modification to the original algorithms. The framework has been verified through simulation and in actual flight. Empirical results show that these techniques used with such a framework offer a surprisingly efficient method for dynamically reconfiguring a motion plan based on unforeseen contingencies which may arise during the execution of a plan. The framework is generic and can be used for additional platforms.


In China, a robot has started delivering packages to people

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China's second-biggest e-commerce company after Alibaba, sent robots to deliver items for the first time yesterday (June 18), on the last day of a two-week-long shopping bonanza that recorded sales of around $17.6 billion, according to a spokesman with the company. It's the first time that the company has used delivery robots in the field. JD tested its first delivery robot in November, when the research and manufacturing cost of a single robot was almost the price of an Audi Q7 series car, around 600,000 yuan ($88,125) (link in Chinese), JD's driverless program engineer Zhang Chao told CCTV. Robots can reduce the delivery cost from 7 yuan ($1) per human delivery to 1.5 yuan ($0.2) per robot delivery, said Zhang.


In China, a robot has started delivering packages to people

#artificialintelligence

China's second-biggest e-commerce company after Alibaba, sent robots to deliver items for the first time yesterday (June 18), on the last day of a two-week-long shopping bonanza that recorded sales of around $17.6 billion, according to a spokesman with the company. Designed by JD, the white, four-wheeled droid can carry five packages at once and travel 20 km (12.4 miles) if fully charged. It can climb up a 25-degree incline (link in Chinese), and find the shortest route from warehouse to destination. Once it reaches its destination, the robot sends a text message to notify the recipient of the delivery. Users can accept the delivery through face-recognition technology or by using a code, according to China's state broadcaster CCTV.


3 Executive Insights for Application of Artificial Intelligence in eCommerce

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At the recent VentureBeat MobileBeat conference on July 13, a panel of executives assembled to discuss the impact of emerging technologies on the future of commerce. Three executives from high-profile companies - Holger Luedorf, senior vice president of Business Development at Postmates; Nichele Lindstrom, director of Digital Marketing at Whole Foods Market; and Eric Moujaes, senior director of Global Digital Product at McDonald's - chimed in and gave their insights on what they believe to be the most overhyped and promising technologies that will impact commerce in the near term. Their perspectives fell on the spectrum of the slightly surprising (drones will not be the future delivery vehicle of choice) as well as in alignment with current'hot' trends (chat bots look to be in like flynn). All three executives' opinions shed light on the potential future of our role as consumers and on businesses as providers in a'brave new world'. With companies like Amazon and Google forecasting the use of drones for delivery (any day now), people may be expecting these unmanned aerial vehicles to be a serious part of the future of commerce, but McDonald's Eric Moujaes believes differently.