One of the reasons China is prosperous today is its people’s dedication to work. In 2014, the average worker in China put in somewhere between 2,000 and 2,200 hours each year as compared to the UK average of 1,677 hours. That said, working over-time seldom translated into more productive, efficient work. So, one Chinese firm found a workaround to sort an incredible amount of packages (200,000) in just 24 hours: robots #machinemagic
Chinese delivery company Shentong (STO) Express “hired” an army of robotic Chinese workers to handle basic, routine tasks around its warehouse in eastern China. Hundreds of small, round Hikvision robots have replaced human workers in the easiest stage of package delivery. Their mission is to take parcels to different areas of the sorting center and place them in holes underneath the floor.
To reduce the risk of sorting them wrongly, each package has a code that the robot can scan and interpret. The robots are self-charging, so theoretically, they can function 24/7 and sort out around 200,000 packages in that time span. Practically, they were used just for six or seven hours every time:
How crucial were they to the well-being of the company? According to one STO Express spokesman for the South China Morning Post, the bots have helped the company save half the costs required for human workers. Not only that, they improved efficiency by almost 30 per cent.
This serious improvement has caught the eye of the government. In the country’s five-year plan, China is aiming to raise the annual production of the robots to 100,000 by 2020.