Supply chain and logistics have been somewhat behind the curve in implementing automated warehouse equipment, but they’re making up for lost time. Here’s a look at the applications where robotics are making the biggest impact.
Picking items requires a great deal of manual dexterity, so at this point robots are primarily used to bring shelves to human workers who pick the items. Advancements are being made to enable robots to pick items autonomously from stationary shelves.
Robots are often used for tertiary packaging, which involves packing individual units from the manufacturer into larger boxes and crates for shipping and delivery.
Palletizing generally involves a limited number of repetitive movements, making it a relatively easy task for robots. Some robots are being designed specifically for palletizing, with arms that have five degrees of freedom and a sixth arm that can rotate more than 360°.
TuSimple, a self-driving truck startup, made headlines last May with news of their robotic port in the Chinese city of Caofeidian. With robotic cranes and self-driving container trucks, Caofeidian is on pace to become the world’s first fully autonomous harbor by the end of 2018.
Last Mile Drone Delivery
Amazon has received a lot of publicity for their work on a drone delivery system, but they’re not the only ones making strides in this area. In fact, Domino’s has staged a successful pizza delivery via drone.
Electric Tugs, Movers and Pushers for Any Application
Lifting and moving heavy loads is a risky and time-consuming process when done manually. With battery-powered warehouse equipment from DJ Products, a single worker can move loads weighing thousands of pounds.
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