How Warehouse Robots Are Changing Business Dynamics In The U.S.

Friday, August 21, 2020, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

What is Warehouse Robot?

Warehouse robots are automated machines, robots with specialized software to perform several tasks including streamlining the process without any human help.

During the past decade, the use of robots in warehouse management, and performing specific tasks in a certain environment in a manufacturing or distribution center has gained a lot of importance. This has led companies to invest in these robots to make regular tasks more seamless.

Companies are now preferring robots with features such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and automated robotics technology.

  • What are the benefits of Warehouse Robots to companies?

    Transportation and logistics industry take immense use of automated warehouse robots to streamline the process and get things done. This has become possible due to technological advancements such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

    Artificial Intelligence generally refers to a computer’s ability to solve problems the way we humans do, i.e. by reasoning. Machine learning is the process where a computer learns and understands from various experiences or so to speak from a big set of data and every time a new data is processed by the computer, it stores the new information and uses it during the process of Artificial Intelligence.

    Warehouse robots due to their ability to work autonomously, allow it to work in hazardous environments where there can be a risk to human life. Also, robots can work continuously for several hours whereas humans cannot and have a requirement to take rest during long working hours. These favorable factors allow industries to deploy robots with various specifications suitable for the work.

  • Which are the prominent manufacturer of Warehouse Robots in the United States?

    Several companies are operating in the U.S. warehouse robotics market, naming few of them which have made a name for themselves are IAM Robotics, inVia Robotics, Locus Robotics, and Boston Dynamics. These companies are responsible for several breakthrough material handling robots such as IAM Robotics Swift Robot that works autonomously with obstacle detection technology, capable of picking and transporting products at human-level speed. Another example of a warehouse robot is Handle from Boston Dynamics which debuted in 2017 and now been upgraded into a larger form.

    However, Handle cannot perform actions at par with human-level speeds but it can carry boxes up to 33 pounds without getting tired or slowing down.

  • Scenario in the United States

    The US has been the biggest consumer for warehouse robots owing to the presence of a large number of e-commerce companies in the region. Amazon which is the biggest e-commerce company in the US uses more than 200,000 robots for operations in its warehouses across the US.

    Recently, Geek+ a Chinese robotics company partnered with Conveyco a material handling systems integrator company in the U.S., to bring autonomous mobile robots to replace warehouse work with robots especially during the coronavirus outbreak as this sector is facing labor shortage around the world.

  • What challenges are companies facing due to COVID-19?

    Even before the COVID-19 came about, companies were in full force to automate their warehouses and distribution centers. But, the recent coronavirus outbreak has changed warehouse operations rapidly.

    Companies are now leaning towards more on technology and automation to achieve goals. The biggest challenge e-commerce companies are facing due to COVID-19 is the spike in requirement of automation solution for its warehouses as consumers are ramping up on online orders. In fact, a consumer survey by IDC from March 23-31 shows online shopping trends going up by 47%.

    Robotics firms are continuously innovating and simultaneously supporting e-commerce companies by providing automation systems for their businesses. With the procurement of automated solutions including warehouse robots, companies now can operate with minimum human support in operational areas such as picking, packaging, labeling, storage, and retrieval of products in the warehouse.

  • Warehouse Robots are here to stay, even in Post COVID-19 Era

    The COVID-19 has brought havoc on supply chains that have wiped out many companies. The company’s management is mapping out immediate, close, and long-term strategies to improve their businesses during and after COVID-19.

    Many of these companies are looking to increase automation and robotics in warehouses to reduce the risk of slowdowns or shutdowns that occur when the workforce is partially or fully knocked out of the scene.

    The adoption of automation, automated material handling equipment, artificial intelligence (AI), voice, and other advanced technologies into warehouses will allow companies to tackle such situation if it happens in the near future.

    Additionally, these technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics when integrated and works together can provide an immense advantage over manual working. With the help of edge technologies, companies can achieve the speed, efficiency, and resilience to meet today’s demand while keeping the supply chain open even in the time of crisis as we are experiencing now with COVID-19.

About GVR

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