China-based JD.com is one of the world’s leading online retailers, rising to the top 100 of the Global Fortune 500 this year. Like Amazon in the US, JD recognized the value of a JD delivery drone early on: The company tested the use of drones for deliveries 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 Henan Province. A recent blog post describes how an engineer from JD’s logistics innovation lab went above and beyond his 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 aid after the flood, Liu immediately volunteered. With his luggage and a last mile delivery drone that can lift up to 55 pounds, Liu traveled to Xinxiang for 10 hours in a JD Logistics truck.
The mission was to deliver groceries to 30 workers stranded in a factory park. The flooded area had cut communications for most of the area and it was night: both factors that made drone flight difficult. 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 a truck at the factory, where the trapped workers had access to the food supplies.
The blog post quotes Liu: “It is my duty to save more people and I will continue this journey with my drone.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional marketplace for drone services, and a passionate observer of the emerging drone industry and regulatory environment for drones. Author of over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space, Miriam is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for emerging technologies.
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