© Swisslog
© Swisslog

Warehouse robot enables logistics 'no human can understand'

23 March 2016

A robot, whose makers claim it could revolutionise warehouse logistics, is now on display at an exhibition previewing Dubai’s Museum of the Future.

Swisslog says its CarryPick robot enables complex logistical chains that “no human being can understand” by sorting and stacking products according to a complex analysis of time, product, and destination.

Dubai’s Museum of the Future is set to open in 2018 as “an incubator for ideas, a driver for innovation and a destination for inventors and entrepreneurs from around the world”.

An exhibition at the 2016 World Government Summit previewed the museum by showcasing how machines from around the world were becoming more intelligent.

According to Swisslog the robot will be particularly effective at saving money on returned products – a concept which has challenged online retailers.

CarryPick relies on a system of mobile racks on wheels. The robot drives under the racks and carries them to a central processing point while a system of lights built into the racks shows personnel which items need to be processed in which order.

While previously e-commerce firms tried to discourage returns because of the delivery and internal logistics and processing costs they are increasingly realising the possibility of returning products is an essential part of online purchases.

Swisslog’s strategy is to accelerate returns movements by automating the process.

“Adding the returned items into the flow of goods at this early stage, aided by the robot’s innate intelligence, means returned items are made available much more quickly for delivery to other customers,” said the company.

It believes the robot can reduce personnel costs and will mean 30% less space is needed in e-commerce distribution centres.

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