Making Smart Robotics a Part of Warehouses and Distribution Centers

Logistics Tech Outlook | Friday, December 07, 2018

As businesses strive to fulfill customer demand for quick order fulfillment, the rapid expansion of e-commerce is one of the key drivers of the excessive use of robots and automation. For the customers, an online purchase is a simple process like visiting a website, finding a product, clicking on the product, purchasing it, and waiting for the product to reach the door. They do not see the automated process that happens when a product gets an order of purchase and do not know the efficiencies that the robotics is bringing to the e-commerce industry. Here, distribution centers (DC) examine and store products for picking, packing, and shipping them to the customers and retail outlets or redistributors.

The “smart brain” of robots containing a combination of sensors, data science, and machine learning enables them to perform various tasks in regards to the distribution centers. Distribution centers require a huge amount of data due to their complex and dynamic functions and tasks. The robots here have to use different computer vision algorithms for different products. In other words, a computer vision algorithm designed for finding the characteristics of a baseball cannot be used to find the characteristics of a cowboy cap.

Choosing the right tool with smart robots increases the capability to perform tasks in a better way and with much efficiency. Additionally, the proper selection of the tools will improve the perception and cognition of the job done by the robots. Soft robotics grippers, a category of smart robotic tools, which are able to grasp products such as tomatoes and eggs, is a less risky and soft gripping technology. They do not require the same level of precision as required by the rigid grippers.

Altogether, the use of robotics in the warehouses or distribution centers plays a vital role in improving the effectiveness of the logistics operations inside the organization and overcoming several challenges like a high level of market competition and labor challenges. Compared to the previous years, e-commerce has become an integral part of every industry, and today’s customers very much opt for online purchases. It is highly essential for every organization to enhance their warehouse management with the deployment of smart robotics technologies.

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