China’s JD.com is one of the world’s leading online retailers, breaking into the Global Fortune 500’s top 100 companies this year. Like Amazon in the U.S., JD recognized the value of a JD delivery drone early on: and the company has trialed using drones to deliver to remote areas.
Since the massive floods hit China last month, the self-developed JD delivery drone has been delivering emergency supplies to Xinxiang, a city in the Henan province. A recent blog post describes how one engineer from JD’s logistics innovation lab went above and beyond the call of duty to respond to the disaster.
Chaokang Liu is a drone engineer working on the development of the JD delivery drone. When the company asked for help with emergency response after the flooding, Liu volunteered immediately. With his luggage and a last-mile delivery drone designed to lift up to about 55 pounds, Liu traveled for 10 hours in a JD Logistics truck to Xinxiang.
The mission was to deliver food for 30 workers stranded in a factory park. The flooded area had taken down communications in most of the area, and it was night time: both factors which complicate drone flight. In addition, Liu had to search for over 3 hours to find a place from which the drone could take off.
Liu successfully flew the drone to land on top of a truck in the factory, where the trapped workers were able to access the food supplies.
The blog post quotes Liu: “It’s my duty to rescue more people, and I’ll keep going on this journey with my drone.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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