10 Takeaways From A3’s Autonomous Mobile Robot and Logistics Conference

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Find 'low-hanging fruit' and build 'virtual belts'

​Also in the panel on “Smart Logistics and the Distribution Center of the Future,” Aaron Prather, senior technical advisor at FedEx Express, recommended that new AMR adopters start with “low-hanging fruit.”

“Find the simple tasks that employees hate doing that AMRs could do,” he said.

“We’re starting to create virtual belts,” added Prather. “This industry was built on belts, but what if you didn’t need belts all the time?”

“You could create virtual belts for packages that need to go to a specific area,” said Prather. “If you don’t know what ‘nonconveyable’ refers to, know that it’s an item that can’t go on a belt. An AMR could do so much better, especially with bigger items such as beds or grills.”

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1. No one size fits all for the DC of the future

2. Find 'low-hanging fruit' and build 'virtual belts'

3. Start small, but think big

4. Don't underestimate your environment

5. Don't forget your workforce

6. Boston Dynamics looks to commercial future with Stretch

7. The newlywed game

8. Partnerships aim to accelerate AMR adoption

9. Incremental change but big investments

10. Industry increasingly recognizes need for interoperability

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