Robots Go From The Assembly Line To The Warehouse

If you’re looking for robots that can help you assemble and pack your products, you now have plenty of options. Manufacturing robots and automated assembly equipment have infiltrated the industrial sector, but what if you’re looking for extra help actually getting your goods out of the warehouse and on their way to the customer. Well, there are robots for that too, at least there may be soon.

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A Robot Duo Designed For Ecommerce
Fetch Robotics have created a new automated solution that is generating a lot of buzz in industrial tech and manufacturing. The solution comes in the form of a robotic duo, applicably known as Fetch and Freight. What do they do?

Fetch, with its robotic arm and adjustable height, is capable of seeking and retrieving items located on warehouse shelves, while its buddy Freight collects and carts the goods in its bin. Both robots glide along autonomously, return to their own charging stations, and can be managed through a mobile app.

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Fetch Gets It, Freight Carts It
Fetch Robotics of San Jose designed the Fetch and Freight pair to do the undesirable work of seeking, finding, and toting a specific product from stacks of many, then bring it to a location where it could be packed and shipped for the customer. They seem ideally suited for ecommerce companies like Amazon and Google Express, where an extensive variety of products are housed in enormous warehouses.

While Amazon has revealed that it already uses robots to perform a similar function, Fetch and Freight are expected to offer a few unique advantages, which are a result of their pairing and their independence.

Working Alone, Together, Or With You
Since Fetch and Freight each complete a unique role, they can be made to work together, separately, or along side humans. Fetch’s autonomous navigation, object detection, and collision-free motion planning give it the ability safely navigate rows of shelves, and gently retrieve an item with the appropriate amount of force.

Once the item is located and obtained, the nearest Freight robot is deployed to deliver the object. Freight can also be used to follow a human worker and gather things as needed, like an autonomous, hands free shopping cart.

A System Greater Than The Sum Of Two Bots
While Fetch Robotics is still in the process of developing the duo for practical use rather than just research, it’s no wonder that ecommerce companies and suppliers are excited to see how such technology could fit within their processes. They may still have some waiting to do as Fetch Robotics still has yet to say how much a Fetch and Freight would cost.

At first glance, it may seem like you’re purchasing two robots, but really Fetch and Freight are designed to be an overall system, which the company will be releasing more details on in the coming weeks and months.

Would you like to have these two robots saving you some legwork in your warehouse? How do you think they’d fit into your business?

Article Sources:
http://spectrum.ieee.org
http://www.slashgear.com
http://gizmodo.com

Sean Thomas
 

Is a former sports blogger who has interest in marketing and entrepreneurship. When he’s not studying the paths of successful startups, he enjoys hiking with his dogs and spending time with his wife.

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