Locus Robotics Passes 2B Units Picked, Less Than a Year After 1B Milestone

Locus provides the LocusONE platform for fulfillment in logistics, retail, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Locus Robotics

Locus designs its robots to work with warehouse associates for increased productivity.
Locus Robotics celebrated its 2 billionth pick only 11 months after its 1 billionth pick, and its CEO explained how it is scaling to serve global demand for robot-aided fulfillment.

Locus Robotics Corp. today announced that its autonomous mobile robots, or AMRs, have now been involved in more than 2 billion picks, reinforcing its position as a leading robotics provider for warehousing and logistics. The company noted that this milestone came on Aug. 18, only 11 months after it reached an “industry-first” landmark of 1 billion picks.

“Achieving the 2 billion picks milestone is an incredible accomplishment for our company and for our customers,” stated Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics. “This event is a testament to the dedication and innovation of our incredible team and the dramatic productivity improvements we deliver to drive our customers’ growth and success.”

“Reaching this milestone took just 358 days, with the last 100 million picks taking just 27 days – an average of 3.7 million picks per day,” said Locus Robotics. “By comparison, it took more than six years to make the first billion picks, and 1,542 days to pick the first 100 million units. LocusBots have now traveled more than 37 million miles in customers’ warehouses, the equivalent of more than 1,370 times around the Earth or 77 round trips to the Moon.”

Wilmington, Mass.-based Locus Robotics said its collaborative AMRs support more than 120 of the world's top brands and are deployed at over 270 sites. The company claimed that its award-winning portfolio of robots, software, and robotics as a service (RaaS) can increase order-fulfillment productivity, reduce operational costs, and improve conditions for human workers.

The Inc. 5000 List last week named Locus as one of the fastest-growing private companies for the third year in a row.

Milestones and market segments

While Faulk was pleased with Locus Robotics' latest milestone, the acceleration of picking with the Locus Origin 1 and 2 robots came as no surprise.

Rick Faulk, Locus Robotics

Rick Faulk, Locus Robotics

“We track the number of units picked every single day, so it's not a surprise,” he told Robotics 24/7. “We have a counter running 24/7. In every single one of those picks, a human put something on a robot and hit 'Go.' It happens about 150 times a second, and it's really amazing to watch.”

“We've been on a projectable path—every milestone takes fewer days to achieve,” Faulk added. “It took us 22 months for the first million picks, and now it takes us two hours.”

He noted that Locus has been successful by focusing on just four market segments—third-party logistics (3PL), retail and e-commerce, healthcare, and manufacturing.

“Within those accounts, we like complexity in terms of volume, multiple SKUs, and many different orders that flow through customer systems,” explained Faulk. “Unlike other robotics companies, we're set up to handle that complexity. We can handle large accounts and their SLAs [service-level agreements] and help ship thousands of units per day.”

This year, Locus is building up its inventory to ship thousands of robots to help clients in North America and Europe handle the peak holiday shopping season, he said.

“We designed our solution from the beginning to be scalable,” said Faulk. “Existing users can uncrate a robot, power it up, and begin using it in five minutes. When they're done with the robot, they can put it back into the carton and ship it back.”

Customers grow AMR fleets

Of its AMR-assisted picks, about 80% come from existing Locus Robotics customers, and 20% from new ones added over the past year, said Faulk.

“The nice thing is that existing clients such as GEODIS and DHL have expanded significantly,” he noted. “They're expanding their robot fleets within existing buildings as well as in new buildings.”

“Locus’ consistent innovation, user-centric approach, and genuine dedication to customer relationships puts them at the forefront of warehouse automation,” said Alan McDonald, vice president of continuous improvement at GEODIS. “This milestone is a testament to its technological leadership and synergistic collaboration. We look forward to building on our work together and driving even greater efficiency improvements in the future.”

In addition, GEODIS provides diverse use cases, such as handling cases in addition to picking for e-commerce, said Faulk. “Our major accounts will launch new use cases,” he said.

“Achieving the remarkable milestone of 2 billion picks demonstrates how Locus's intelligent automation solution can transform warehouse operations,” added Keith Price, CIO of Concordance Healthcare. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Locus team to leverage the power of advanced robotics and automation to drive even greater warehouse fulfillment optimization in the years ahead.”

LocusONE a platform for new use cases

“While most people may think of Locus as just a robotics hardware provider, LocusONE is our platform for different things, including robot fleet management, analytics, and RaaS,” said Faulk.

LocusONE can oversee fulfillment workflows, optimize route planning, allocate tasks among different robots, and reduce unproductive walking time for human workers, said Locus Robotics. It can also deliver real-time business insights into warehouse operations, it said.

“Locus has always done AI—such as for navigation—even before it was fashionable,” Faulk said. “Right now, we're building out our AI team to get more flexibility around data analytics and predictive actions. We'll have some offerings coming out in the next six months.”

In addition, the heavy-duty Vector and Max robots that Locus acquired with Waypoint Robotics Inc. offer new use cases.

“We've seen significant demand, with 20% of our pipeline going for new use cases,” said Faulk. “For most of our clients, 50% to 80% is spent on labor for case picking. Ideally, they want one vendor to handle the whole order stream going through the door.”

“Vector can handle up to 600 lb., and it can stack different carts and form factors,” he said. “Locus has proven that we can drive scale and valuations in the space, making it a successful touchstone for other robotics businesses trying to prove value to investors.”

“We have aggressive targets for international growth, having launched new sites in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Tokyo within the past three to four months,” said Faulk. “We just hired a general manager or our Asia-Pacific operations and are outgrowing our European headquarters in Amsterdam.”

Locus Robotics says the future of warehouse jobs is robots and humans working together.

About the Author

Eugene Demaitre's avatar
Eugene Demaitre
Eugene Demaitre was editorial director of Robotics 24/7. Prior to joining Peerless Media, he was a senior editor at Robotics Business Review and The Robot Report. Demaitre has also worked for BNA (now part of Bloomberg), Computerworld, and TechTarget. He has participated in numerous robotics-related webinars, podcasts, and events worldwide.
Follow Eugene:    
Follow Robotics 24/7 on Facebook
Follow Robotics 24/7 on Linkedin

Email Sign Up

Get news, papers, media and research delivered
Stay up-to-date with news and resources you need to do your job. Research industry trends, compare companies and get market intelligence every week with Robotics 24/7. Subscribe to our robotics user email newsletter and we'll keep you informed and up-to-date.

Locus Robotics

Locus designs its robots to work with warehouse associates for increased productivity.

Robot Technologies