A video from China showing a factory floor where dozens of orange robots scuttle around delivering packages with extreme efficiency, removing the need for an army of menial workers, has gone viral.
The video was taken in a sorting center of Shentong (STO) Express, a delivery company in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. One worker dropped packages into each of the little Hikvision robots. The robots scan the parcel for a location code, after which they proceeded to carry the parcels across the warehouse to its intended destination — small holes in the floor in which the packages are deposited by the robots after flipping the lids open.
The robots minimize the human error that sometimes arises when shipping parcels, along with saving the company around 50 percent of its labor costs, according to a spokesman for STO Express. The spokesman also told the South China Morning Post that sorting accuracy was maximized and overall efficiency was improved by around 30 percent.
“We use these robots in two of our centers in Hangzhou right now, [but] we want to start using these across the country, especially in our bigger centers,” the spokesman said.
Due to their self-charging capabilities, the robots could potentially work for 24 hours non-stop. Currently, they are only used for six to seven hours at a time, from 6:00 PM onwards. When activated, they can sort up to 200,000 packages a day.
Chinese manufacturers are increasingly using robots to replace human employees, with the output of industrial robots growing 30.4 percent in 2016.