6 River Systems, now part of leading global commerce company Shopify, says it has strengthened the capabilities of its warehouse robots.
6RS also released recommendations to its customers to further protect employees from pathogens during the picking process in warehouses and fulfillment centers, as well as “dark stores” – retail centers or distribution centers solely used for online order fulfillment.
The company’s recommendations span operational modifications, improvements to the hardware and software for its collaborative robot, Chuck, and highlight the availability of new products for its fulfillment solution.
Jerome Dubois, co-CEO and co-founder of 6 River Systems, says: “Since the beginning, our priority has been the safety and empowerment of the associates using our solution.
“These updated capabilities build on the best practices and safety protocols we’ve developed over the last several years, allowing operators to continue getting the most from their fulfillment solution while protecting the most valuable asset within their business: the people they employ.”
Enhanced zoning and order allocation
6RS says it is collaborating closely with all customers to optimize sites for social distancing measures already in place.
Without making changes to a site’s operational design, Chuck enables a base-level of social distancing by automating long walks between induct, active picking and takeoff areas, reducing crowding on the warehouse floor.
By restricting aisle traffic and setting static zoning rules, operators can also ensure associates remain within their own zones while Chuck crosses from one to the next.
Low-touch collaborative robot
Health and hygiene recommendations differ from operation to operation. Chuck is designed with large, easy to clean and robust action and pause buttons and lights, reducing interactions with touchscreens.
Chuck’s touchscreens are compatible with styluses and with a wide variety of gloves, which helps prevent cross-associate contamination.
To further encourage associate hygiene, 6RS is updating its software to remind associates to wipe down Chuck’s high-touch areas as soon as they begin work with a new robot.
6RS says it is “actively working” to create an accessory for all customers to equip Chucks with a holder for hand sanitizer, wipes and gloves.
Expanded ‘wall-to-wall solution’
In addition to previously announced enhancements to Chuck, 6RS is now offering a tote autoloader/unloader solution to customers.
The company says this type of automation increases safety by reducing touches to common surfaces and will increase customers’ throughput during peaks.