Category Archives: Logistics

Bharati Robotics shows off autonomous industrial cleaning robot

bharati agv crop

The Bharati autonomous guided vehicle for materials transport

Bharati Robotics Systems has been showing off its new autonomous industrial floor cleaning robots. 

The company says the small vehicle saves labour costs and increases productivity by up to 200 per cent, and cleans the floor better than humans, or the “highest quality of cleaning”.

The robot’s battery lasts up to four hours on one charge and it has a smartphone interface through which it can be monitored and controlled. 

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    Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of EU Automation, discusses milestones in robotics, from ancient mythology to the present day The earliest…
    Tags: robots, industrial, robot, robotics
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    Chinese company HIT Robot Group (HRG) has signed an agreement with Kuka Robotics (Shanghai) to work on a range of projects…
    Tags: robotics, robots, industrial, robot
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    Yamaha Motor Company says the company’s humanoid riding robot – MotoBot – has moved into the second phase of its development,…
    Tags: robot, company, systems, automated, robotics, autonomous

ST Engineering acquires Aethon, maker of the TUG autonomous mobile vehicles

aethon logistics robot

Singapore Technologies Engineering has acquired Aethon and its autonomous mobile robot, TUG, usually seen performing some logistical task or other. 

ST Engineering is a $5 billion engineering firm with global operations and strong expertise in mobile robotics.

The value of the deal was not made public.

Aethon will become a division of ST Engineering’s US headquarters, VT Systems and will be part of the group’s land systems sector which is led by ST Kinetics, which is focused on robot technology innovation. 

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Next generation pick-to-light offers dynamic automation scalability

Pick-to-Light

By Thomas Cutler

Until now pick-to-light equipment has represented a significant fixed capital expense with little consideration for variable use, often driven by seasonality, warehouse/distribution variance, and project management flux.

From manufacturers to 3PL (third-party logistics) companies, these swings in low or high usage represented a level of waste as purchased lights went unused and wasted.

Pick-to-light is a fulfilment technology which uses alphanumeric displays and buttons at storage locations to guide the manual picking and recording of items for shipment. 

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DHL and Wärtsilä complete tests of mobile robots from Fetch Robotics for warehouse operations

Industrial technology company Wärtsilä and the world’s largest logistics company, DHL, say they have been utilising mobile robots from Fetch Robotics to streamline warehouse operations. 

The companies say they have completed a “successful pilot”, where they tested autonomous vehicles from Fetch Robotics.

The pilot was carried out in Wärtsilä’s central distribution centre in Kampen, the Netherlands, where the entire logistics chain of Wärtsilä’s spare parts, from order intake to customer delivery, is managed.

As Wärtsilä’s partner, DHL runs the warehouse operations. 

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Sita Lab launches mobile robotic kiosk for airports

Sita Lab, a provider of air travel technology, has launched Kate, a mobile robot which the company says is an intelligent check-in kiosk that will autonomously move to busy or congested areas in the airport as needed. 

Using various data sources – including flight and passenger flow information – Kate can identify where additional check-in kiosks are required to reduce passenger queue times at check-in.

Kate, which was developed in partnership with BlueBotics, uses existing Sita data systems such as Day of Operations Business Intelligence and FlightInfo API. 

Uber’s autonomous truck journey off to a bumpy start

uber otto autonomous truck

An autonomous trucking start-up Otto vehicle is shown during an announcing event in Concord, California, US on August 4, 2016. Reuters / Alexandria Sage

By Heather Somerville and Julia Love, Reuters

Uber Technologies’ drive to become a major player in the trucking business is off to a bumpy start, with analysts and industry executives questioning what exactly the company can bring to the sprawling $700-billion industry.

The San Francisco ride-services giant had planned to disrupt freight hauling by offering a complete package of trucking technology including self-driving trucks and smartphone-based logistics services.

But what has emerged so far, industry watchers say, is a modest effort to build a brokerage service connecting truckers looking for loads to shippers with cargo to haul. 

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Interview: Big data suggests there’s a trade war looming

Port of Los Angeles, in the US

Port of Los Angeles, in the US

One of the wonders of the modern, computerised world is the emergence of data science. Data science is, arguably, at the heart of most successful businesses today, and its favourite food is big data. 

For Panjiva, data science and big data enables it to keep track of virtually all goods moving from one country to another, with a particular emphasis on the US market.

But while it might sound straightforward to some, the actual collation and preparation of the data, and then the presentation of it, is not a simple process. 

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    Equity markets We have listed approximately 50 companies which we think are related to the field of robotics and automation.…
    Tags: industrial, automation, robotics, companies, data
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    The ongoing global trend towards greater industrial automation is being reflected in an increase in the number of industrial robots…
    Tags: industrial, automation, panjiva, trade, trump
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    Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US President Barack Obama discussed trade earlier this week, and agreed this was a crucial time for…
    Tags: robotics, automation, companies, industrial, trade

Chinese e-commerce giant starts delivering orders using robots

jd robot

One of China’s largest online shopping companies has started to deliver goods to its customers using robots, according to a report in QZ.com

The four-wheeled autonomous vehicle (pictured above) is about the size of a washing machine and was developed by Jingdong, or JD.com as it’s also known in China.

And although the robot was used for the first time earlier this week, JD’s chairman, Liu Qiangdong, says the company could completely roboticise its entire logistics process within a few years.

The company already uses small autonomous vehicles in its logistics warehouses to move goods around (pictured below). 

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China says its Belt & Road initiative is a way out of the global economic slump

China is planning to create what looks like will be the largest, longest and most complex logistics network in history – at a cost to itself of almost $1 trillion. 

The so-called Belt & Road Initiative will virtually encircle China, most of Asia and much of Europe, and will mostly consist of interconnected roads, but will also include sea lanes and railways, and possibly some airways.

In total, it will connect approximately 60 countries, and cost anything between $4 trillion and $8 trillion. And the timescale is anyone’s guess.

The northern parts of the Belt & Road network will include the revival of the ancient Silk Road, which connected China to Persia and the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and India, Indonesia and Arabia via sea lanes to the south. 

Aethon launches new autonomous mobile robots at Automate 2017

aethon tug

Aethon has demonstrated new products at Automate 2017 in Chicago specifically designed to address the needs of manufacturers looking to automate material movement and connect islands of automation within their plants.

Aethon showcased new mobile robots and software control systems allowing their robotic platform to achieve Level 4 autonomy. (Full list of autonomy levels, as published by SAE.)

Aethon will feature the T3 and T3XL model robots, which represent the newest innovations in automated material movement. 

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Logistics automation startup Grabit ships products to two Fortune 100 companies

grabit

Grabit, a startup automation systems provider to the manufacturing and warehouse logistics industries, has shipped multiple units of its material handling robot, Stackit, to what it says is “an industry-leading athletic shoe and apparel company”.

Grabit also shipped multiple units of Meterit, its “intelligent conveyor system”, to a “global leader” in express package delivery services.

To date, Grabit has secured $25 million in financing from investors and strategic partners. This funding is being applied to develop flexible robotic automation solutions that leverage Grabit’s electroadhesion technology and machine learning software to provide up to 20x productivity improvement for its customers’ operations. 

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Swisslog Americas forms automotive group

swisslog warehouse and distribution

Swisslog Warehouse and Distribution Solutions Americas has formed an automotive group and appointed Terry Krantz as vice president of sales and consulting.

Swisslog Warehouse and Distributions Solutions Americas, a Member of the Kuka Group and leading provider of best-in-class intralogistics solutions, announces the formation of a new automotive business unit focused on developing and delivering intralogistics automation to tier one suppliers and original equipment manufacturers.

Markus Schmidt, president of Swisslog WDS Americas, says: “Tier one suppliers and OEMs have already been turning to Swisslog and benefiting from our turnkey solutions designed to streamline their work-in-process manufacturing, kitting, and parts storage. 

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Fetch Robotics unveils expanded line of autonomous mobile robots

Company says it now offers “comprehensive options” for autonomous collaboration with transport robots

Fetch Robotics has introduced two new autonomous mobile robots to its fleet: Freight500 and Freight1500.

Both new robots, like the Freight predecessor, operate safely in commercial and industrial environments where they are deployed to automate the delivery of bulky and heavy loads.

The company and the new robots were showcased at ProMat 2017 in Chicago, Illinois, a few days ago. 

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Kinema Systems claims ‘world’s first deep learning 3D vision system for industrial robots’

kinema systems

Kinema Systems claims to have launched what it describes as “the world’s first deep learning 3D vision system for industrial robots”. 

A large part of the world’s commerce moves in boxes arranged on pallets. Depalletizing boxes in warehouses, distribution centers and factories is a difficult task that has become more challenging with changing demographics and an increase in product mix.

Kinema Pick is claimed to be the world’s first deep learning 3D vision system for industrial robots, and addresses the depalletization of both mixed SKU and single SKU pallets. 

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Mobile Industrial Robots launches new MiR200 logistics robot

mir 200

Mobile Industrial Robots, a developer and manufacturer of autonomous mobile robots for logistics, has launched its newest robot, the MiR200.

The company says the MiR200 is “a more powerful mobile robot in almost every aspect” than the company’s flagship MiR100, which has already been installed in more than 30 countries by companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Flex, Honeywell, Michelin, Procter & Gamble, Toyota and Walmart.

MiR says its vehicles are “a dramatic improvement over legacy automated guided vehicles”, which require the expensive and inflexible installation of sensors or magnets into factory floors for guidance. 

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