How Are Mobile Robots Making Place for Themselves in Modern Manufacturing, Warehousing and Logistics?
Mobile robots were preceded by what is known as automated guided vehicles (AGV), which was quite similar to a fixed conveyor. AGVs are guided on the floor with the help of magnetic tape or painted lines. However, mobile robots unlike the AGVs’ are not confined to marked isles for manufacturing and material handling in the warehouse. Therefore, they are highly sensitive to dynamic changes in the work environment such as the movement of people or vehicles for material handling throughout the work floor. The additional benefits of employing these robots for material handling include improving traceability and safety of workers, especially the ones required to work around fork trucks. This can ensure that the human workforce is more productive at their workstations, while mobile robots facilitate flexible and safe material handling.
Is E-Commerce Affecting the Demand for Logistics Automation?
The answer is Yes. With the growth of the e-commerce market, customers expect a wide variety of products to be delivered to them at the least possible time. In fact, most of the customers today end up making purchase decisions based on the estimated time of delivery of their products; therefore, it has become imperative for companies to hold larger volumes of products, fill labor gaps efficiently, and ensure timely delivery of products. This is the main reason why automation is essential for companies in material handling to make the logistics speedy and efficient. Automation can also help companies to fill labor gaps and ensure that processes are not hindered due to the same.
What Is the Future of Mobile Robots in Material Handling?
Today, mobile robots are being paired with grippers and arms which allows them to perform human-like functions in the warehouse or the factory-floor. The challenging part is to ensure precision in the task such as picking up, loading, and unloading the materials. In the years to come, these things are expected to be perfected, and hopefully you will be able to see life-size robots and humans work hand in hand when it comes to material handling. Various developers in the field of technology are also looking at developing mobile robots that can work with the internet of things, which would make it easier to give commands and manage the mobile robots.