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Alibaba Group’s autonomous delivery robot taking over Chinese delivery routes

Written by Kfir Kedem – October 07, 2021

Reviewed by Theo König

Alibaba Group, the same group that has brought us the Alibaba e-commerce website, has developed an autonomous last-mile delivery robot. This robot is called “Xiaomanlv” which can be translated as “small donkey” from Mandarin. Quite appropriate as donkeys used to be the delivery vehicles of the past.


The Xiaomanlv can carry up to 50 packages at a time and has a driving range of 100 km. Once the battery runs out of power, it can quickly be swapped out for another in under 20 seconds. So far, there are 200 of these robots spread around 52 Chinese cities and 200,000 consumers have been reached. With these many customers, the Xiaomanlv reached a milestone of over 1 million parcels delivered. With the small but sure success of this autonomous delivery robot, Alibaba expects to deploy 10,000 robots during the 3 coming years.


Auto Trendy’s take:

Here in the west, we’re still waiting to see autonomous delivery robots driving around and delivering our parcels. This happens to already be a reality in China and with over a million packages already being received in 52 Chinese cities, it is fair to say that the Chinese are far ahead. Other companies such as Nuro are trying to bring this technology to the rest of us. The main question remains whether we will be seeing Nuros, Xiaomanlvs or some other robot taking over our mail routes.