A little over a year ago we reported on a little yellow robot that was making deliveries around China. The two-foot-tall autonomous robot, called the RoboPony, comes from Zhen Robotics Corp. It has been seen in places like malls, hospitals, offices and retail spaces. Now with the recent coronavirus outbreak and many finding themselves under quarantine, the demand for the RoboPony has surged.
Cities around the world are attempting to cut down on human to human interaction but there is still a demand for things like groceries and medication. They are looking for ways to make deliveries but at the same time keep people safe. This is where the RoboPony comes in.
Summoned via a smartphone app, the six-wheel robot autonomously delivers things packages, groceries, and medicine. It can carry 90 pounds and travel up to six mph. Onboard sensors and GPS allow it to safely navigate the streets avoiding any obstacles that may get in its way.
Lasting about 12 hours one charge, the yellow delivery robot can work day and night in all types of weather. Using the app, customers can see RoboPony’s location. Owners can take control of the robot remotely if need be.
RoboPony Delivering for China’s Biggest Retailers
With the current outbreak, the RoboPony has been playing a huge role for many of China’s biggest retailers. Suning.com Group Ltd. has been using it to deliver food and other necessities to customers who may be stuck at home.
“The epidemic made people aware of the fragility of human beings and robots can make up for this vulnerability and provide services that people can trust,” said Liu Zhiyong, CEO of Zhen Robotics.
According to Liu, orders have tripled since the outbreak began. Zhen Robotics and its suppliers plan to produce 90 robots in the next six weeks. The company is even exploring adding sanitary features such as disinfection by ultraviolet light.