Autonomous Mobile Robots Are Transforming Logistics
Mobile, Collaborative Logistics Robots Experience Greater Adoption for Warehousing and Fulfillment Processes
Collaborative robots used in logistics are almost exclusively used in the picking and placing of objects. They’re often deployed in large warehouses or fulfillment centers where accurate, consistent, and quick movement of goods proves challenging. Collaborative robots for fulfillment can be stationary or mobile, but the major area of growth lies in autonomous mobile robots (AMR).
In 2017, installations of logistics robots increased 162% over 2016 levels, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) World Robotics 2018 Service Robots report1. In 2018, sales of these systems will increase by 66% over 2017 levels to reach a total market value of $3.9 Billion. Much of this growth can be attributed to mobile robots for fulfillment – approximately 90% of logistics automation systems sold in 2017 were mobile robots for fulfillment.
Collaborative logistics robots used in warehousing and fulfillment processes can significantly increase productivity, reduce wasted motions, generate labor savings, and improve the overall safety of a facility. This is particularly true of AMRs, which can navigate dynamic settings, effectively locate and pick objects, more intelligently deliver these objects to human workers, and operate more quickly than manual picking and placing. In some instances, AMRs can improve the number of units per hour (UPH) picked by almost threefold2.
Collaborative logistics robots, particularly AMRs, have a bright future ahead of them, as the technology has only recently matured to the point of commercial adoption. The near-future holds robust growth for this type of collaborative robot, presenting numerous opportunities for those who can gain a foothold in this emerging market.
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- International Federation of Robotics, “World 2018 Service Robots Report”
- Steve Banker, Forbes Media LLC, “Collaborative Robots Used in eCommerce Fulfillment”