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Dexterity AI and FedEx unveil ‘first-of-its-kind’ robotics trailer loading technology

Dexterity AI has agreed a collaboration with FedEx to leverage AI-powered robotic technology to load boxes into trucks and trailers.

Truck loading has long been considered one of the most challenging tasks in parcel hubs. Manual loading is taxing and previous technology approaches have not been able to handle the complex decision making required to stack the wide range of shipments encountered in the FedEx network, which vary in size, shape, weight, and packaging material.

Dexterity AI focuses on the complexity of truck loading by giving mobile robots a suite of intelligence ranging from the ability to see, touch, think, and move quickly to pack trailers with stable, dense walls of randomized boxes.

Rebecca Yeung, corporate vice president of operations science and advanced technologies for FedEx, says: “Our culture of innovation is driven by a desire to help our team members and customers succeed.

“Based on feedback from our operations team, we have been looking for a solution that helps alleviate the challenges of truck loading. Collaborating with Dexterity AI to combine the latest in AI and robotics supports our operations team while meeting growing customer demand.”

Introducing Next-Generation AI for Intelligent Truck Loading Robots

Dexterity AI’s proprietary mobile robot design, DexR, navigates autonomously to the back of trailers and connects to a powered conveyor system that feeds the robot boxes directly from the sortation system. The DexR’s unique two arm design enables the robot to pick and pack boxes simultaneously, improving throughput.

Dexterity’s AI platform uses a broad set of intelligence, so it can be used to handle the complexities of truck loading required by operations.

Some unique characteristics of the platform include:

  • Generative Wall Planning: With every new box presented to the DexR, Dexterity’s AI software takes 500 milliseconds or less to assess billions of wall build possibilities to pack trailers with tight, stable walls.
  • A Sense of Touch: Dexterity AI-powered force control gives robots a unique sense of touch so they know how to gently nudge boxes together in creating tightly packed walls.
  • Machine Learning-Based Pack Improvement: Machine learning helps ensure that with every box picked, the Dexterity AI truck loading software becomes even more efficient in handling a broader range of packing challenges.
  • Integrated Motion Planning: By integrating its own trajectory and motion planning, the Dexterity AI platform helps the DexR’s two arms move quickly inside trailers without colliding with each other or the truck walls.

Testing of the truck load technology is ongoing by FedEx with a goal to refine the technology and deploy commercially in the future.

Samir Menon, founder and CEO of Dexterity AI, says: “FedEx shares our belief that innovation should solve the most difficult tasks in operations.

“Our collaboration is driven by a vision of AI-powered robotics that is adaptable to our customer’s most pressing needs.”

The official unveiling of this innovative AI-powered robotics truck loading technology took place at the companies’ recent joint event “Unlock the Dock” in San Francisco.

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