GXO Logistics, which claims to be the world’s largest pure-play contract logistics provider, says it is conducting a proof-of-concept pilot for Agility Robotics’ human-centric robot “Digit”.
The robot is being tested on logistics tasks at SPANX’s facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia, where GXO manages warehouse operations for the global womenswear brand’s direct-to-consumer and in-store orders.
Adrian Stoch, chief automation officer, GXO, says: “We’re excited to take this pioneering step with Agility in the evolution of technology in warehouse operations.
“As the industry leader in innovation, GXO works with global tech companies to develop and deploy technologies that will help our customers enhance safety, efficiency, productivity and employee engagement in their supply chain operations.”
Digit – which is 5’9″ tall, weighs 140 pounds and can lift up to 35 pounds – is designed to work in human spaces and can be easily adapted to various warehouse tasks through software updates.
Jonathan Hurst, co-founder and chief robot officer, Agility Robotics, says: “Multi-purpose robots that can operate in human spaces will be an integral part of our future, and we’re excited to work with GXO to develop this technology for application in the supply chain industry.
“Importantly, there’s no need to redesign the warehouse or install infrastructure beyond that which is already designed around people.”
Agility Robotics and GXO are teaching Digit to undertake repetitive tasks such as moving totes from autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and placing them onto conveyors.
Reduction of such repetition reduces strain, increases safety for team members and frees them to do more value-added work in the warehouse. GXO’s recent survey confirms better engagement and higher job satisfaction among team members when working with technology.
If this initial phase proves successful, it will pave the way for piloting Digit in a wider variety of roles in 2024. To see Digit in action, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq_-OTQgzf0
Kuralamudhan Arutselvan, director, automation and innovation, GXO, says: “This pilot program marks another major milestone in our journey to continuously improve the work environment for our employees while optimizing our operations through innovative tech solutions.”
Christy Hillier, senior director of operations, GXO, says: “It’s energizing to see automation developing that can perform repetitive tasks with speed and precision working with our associates to provide a better work place.”