DHL, the world’s largest logistics company, has unveiled an autonomous vehicle designed to carry letters and parcels and follow around the postal worker as he or she delivers mail items from door to door.
The robotic parcel carrier – called PostBot – could move along in tandem with the worker, saving time overall and energy on the part of the human.
Logistics giant DHL called on the Effibot autonomous vehicle to help with the logistics demands of delivering all 40 fully-electric racing cars which took part in the recent Formula E Championship decider in Montreal, Canada.
Along with the cars, DHL also delivered lithium-ion batteries, charging stations, garage equipment and track infrastructure for the 10 teams that will compete for the title.
It’s not a glamorous business, logistics. Doesn’t make the mainstream news very often. And it’s not likely to be the top career choice for most people.
It’s understandable. After all, how interesting can it be to move boxes from point A to point B?
Put like that, it’s not much to write home about. But now, with driverless vehicles everywhere, augmented reality glasses and exoskeletons for warehouse workers, and robotics and automation technologies of all kinds promising to transform the industry worldwide, logistics is about to get much more interesting. Continue reading DHL could stop Amazon from taking over the world. Probably
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.
It’s not the first time DHL has organised a robotics challenge, but this one comes soon after the company announced that it is completely reorganising its entire global supply chain around robotics and autonomous systems.
The company has been increasing the number of robots it uses globally. In its DHL Singapore hub, which it opened in April, the company says it started by using 130 robotic shuttles.
DHL has also more than doubled the capacity of its Japan distribution capacity by opening a new facility which uses the latest highly automated systems.
The first prize for the DHL robotics challenge is €10,000.
DHL says it is approaching a point in time where it decides that “robots are going to become essential in the world of logistics”.
In a new trend report, Robotics in Logistics, Deutsche Post DHL Group says it is “revealing how collaborative robots will affect supply chains”. Robotics technology may soon be picking, packing and moving goods in the logistics environment.
Matthias Heutger, senior vice president strategy, marketing and innovation, DHL customer solutions and innovation, says: “Robots work in many industries but haven’t made an impact on logistics yet because of the complexity of the work – handling a wide array of different things in an infinite number of combinations, close to people and in confined spaces.