Artificial intelligence, virtual reality and robotics have all become hot topics when it comes to the future of the supply chain. Advanced robotics are already being utilized in warehouses around the world. As robots continue to prove themselves through real-life applications, this field of technology is on course to solidify its presence in warehousing. Here are some examples of companies changing the landscape of supply chain focused robotics.
Companies Shaping the Future of Robotics in Supply Chain
One of the biggest examples of success with robotics in the supply chains is e-commerce leader Amazon. Their Amazon Robotics program utilizes two different forms of robotics that specialize in picking and packing: collaborative systems and non-collaborative systems. Non-collaborative is more prominent within warehouses because it allows employees to stay in place while robots move goods around the warehouse. This method doesn’t require physical interaction between warehouse workers and advanced technology.
Amazon’s robots carry shelves of products around a chain-link cage using QR codes on the floor for navigation. The shelves are then loaded and unloaded based on order demand by warehouse employees. Amazon’s robots increase fulfillment speed, picking accuracy and make employee tasks less repetitive and sedentary.
Fetch Robotics has come up with a more independent application of robotics in the warehouse to replace forklifts. They have created freight robots including the automated version of Freight 1,500 (coming later in 2020) and CartConnect500 that can pick up items from one place and move them to another without any human interaction.
Both of these models have attachable, industrial-grade carts that can carry a variety of containers to improve efficiency and organization. CartConnect500 can transport up to 1,100 pounds while the fully autonomous version of Freight 1,500 will be able to hold 3,300 pounds. The CartConnect500 and other freight-focused robots aim to automate repetitive processes and enable warehouses to operate efficiently with fewer employees doing manual tasks.
Robots promise to provide increased productivity in warehouses around the world. As new models of non-collaborative and collaborative robotics are integrated into the workplace, it will be interesting to see how they join forces with humans!