With almost all industries
feeling the pressure of the Covid-19 outbreak, Chinese robotics company
ZhenRobotics Corp, has seen a spike in demand for its robots which are
replacing humans in suboptimal conditions.
RoboPony is a small, knee-high robot developed and manufactured by ZhenRobotics. The bright yellow, six-wheeled unit has been sold to shopping centres, apartment complexes and hospitals. The 68cm tall unit is used to deliver groceries and to patrol malls and hospitals, looking for those who fail to wear masks.
The increase in demand for RoboPony units comes at a time when other industries have experienced a marked decline in the past two months. Liu Zhiyong, CEO of ZhenRobotics, attributes the surge in demand to the recognition of the fragility of humans in a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic. Liu says robots like RoboPony can make up for the vulnerability of humans and offer a reliable service.
China’s leading retailers are using RoboPony units. Suning.com uses robots to deliver groceries to customers. Each unit can hold up to 40kg and has a top speed of 10kph. This type of automated delivery service has become increasingly popular in the past two months. In late January, the Chinese government cut access to many large cities and nearly 60 million citizens have been encouraged to stay home and use services like RoboPony’s.
Malls in Shanghai have used RoboPony units to broadcast Covid-19 anti-virus information and dispense hand sanitiser.
ZhengRobotics was founded in 2016 and specialises in future techs such as machine learning and autonomous navigation, both of which the ruling Chinese party has recognised as pivotal to economic and industrial progression.
Companies like ZhenRobotics, which have testing facilities in Zheijang and manufacturing plants in Shenzhen, have been given free rent and other government support. The Beijing government has endorsed ZhenRobotics by adding the RoboPony unit to its recommended list of anti-epidemic technology.
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