Robots give Greece’s postal service a boost



ATHENS, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Greece’s Post Office has a new addition: a fleet of yellow robots that sort the mail.

Fifty-five small, four-wheeled autonomous mobile robots – or AMRs – powered by artificial intelligence slide through the sorting center of the Hellenic Post in Athens, speeding up an often arduous process.

They scan the zip code, weigh the parcel and, controlled by sensors, empty it into the appropriate mail bags that are set up around a platform.

The robots are part of the state company’s digital restructuring program targeting the growing number of packages from online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Until recently, manual sorting was very time-consuming and often errors resulted in delivery delays for our customers and increased costs for the company,” George Constantopoulos, chief executive of Hellenic Post, told Reuters.

Up to 80% of the parcel sorting went to the robots, and Constantopoulos said the process was up to three times faster to ensure next day delivery.

The robots can handle up to 168,000 parcels weighing up to 15 kg per day and only need to be charged for 5 minutes every four hours.

“The purpose is not to replace human workers with robots, but to expand human workers and make them more efficient,” said Constantopoulos.

Letter from Phoebe Fronista; Editing by Karolina Tagaris and Alison Williams

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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