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Postal service to test 5G-connected robot postmen

By Park Sae-jin Posted : May 28, 2020, 15:42 Updated : May 28, 2020, 15:42

[Courtesy of Korea Post]

SEOUL -- South Korea's postal service will put 5G-connected robot postmen into a test run to see if they can help human co-workers with tasks such as the collection and delivery of mails.

The Korea Post said Thursday the demonstration of autonomous robots is part of efforts to vitalize non-face-to-face services in the COVID-19 era and bring innovation to logistics services. Starting in October, 5G-connected autonomous robots will be deployed at actual workplaces such as logistic centers and post offices.

Robot postmen will come in different types to help human colleagues in different fields. Autonomous shuttle-type robots with smart city platforms will collect registered mails and parcels at the doorstop of senders and carry cargo to logistics centers. Deliverymen-type robots will pick up mails and parcels from logistic centers and deliver them to designated post office boxes. Helper robots capable of carrying a heavy load of cargo will accompany postmen on delivery runs.

[Courtesy of Korea Post]

The heavy workload of postmen has been a social issue as they work more than ten hours a day on average. City mail carriers usually travel some 40 kilometers (25 miles) per day, while those in rural towns cover over 100 km.

The state postal service deployed more than 1,000 compact electric vehicles last year so that postmen can carry more mail per run. Because EVs are quiet and eco-friendly, they are favored by people living in residential areas. Korea Post will gradually replace some 14,000 delivery motorcycles with electric vehicles.

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