MEMPHIS—Consumer expectations for shorter delivery windows, a warehouse labor shortage, and a surge in demand have put pressure on global supply chains to deliver increased volumes at faster rates. Plus One Robotics Inc. and Locus Robotics Corp. this week announced that they are collaborating to develop an automated picking system combining mobile robots and stationary picking arms.
The companies said the cross-platform system is designed to help improve productivity in e-commerce fulfillment centers.
“When you bring cutting-edge mobility and fast 3D-guided picking arms together, the end result is a robust system for businesses looking to scale in line with continued e-commerce growth,” said Brent Barcey, vice president of business development at Plus One Robotics. “Locus has a track record for leading innovation in the AMR [autonomous mobile robot] space, and we are thrilled to bring these versatile technologies to shared customers.”
LocusBot and Yonder system. Source: Plus One Robotics
Locus Robotics said its collaborative AMRs can double or triple productivity without disrupting existing warehouse workflows. The Wilmington, Mass.-based company recently raised $50 million, acquired Waypoint Robotics, and opened its European headquarters in Amsterdam.
Founded in 2016, Plus One Robotics applies artificial intelligence and computer vision to material handling in warehouses, and its approach to supervised autonomy enables one person to manage many robots simultaneously.
The San Antonio, Texas-based company raised $33 million in April and said its customers include logistics and e-commerce leaders in the Fortune 100.
AMRs and arms to collaborate
Plus One and Locus Robotics are building the multimodal system to further support operators across a range of warehouse tasks performed in e-commerce fulfilment, distribution centers, and parcel operations.
With new SKUs entering the mix daily, robot arms equipped with Plus One’s 3D and AI software continuously learn to recognize new package shapes and types. The robot arms successfully load/unload goods onto Locus AMRs. Together, these robot systems are reliable, flexible, and offer unparalleled scalability, the companies said.
“Together, Plus One and Locus Robotics technologies are able to give warehouse operators a unique solution that delivers higher fulfilment volumes and lower operations costs to efficiently meet their exploding fulfillment volumes,” said Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics. “This joint collaboration combines our unique technologies to deliver additional value and use cases to our collective customers.”
Attendees at the Association for Advancing Automation's (A3's) AMR and Logistics Conference in Memphis can visit the Plus One Robotics booth today to view live demonstrations of the two systems.
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