Warehouse robots may seem like a new concept, but the idea that autonomous mobile robots (AMR) could improve order fulfilment and warehousing has been around for a while. One company, Vecna, uses a slightly different approach that makes it stand out as a supplier.
Who is Vecna?
Vecna has been around for since 1998, but their warehouse robots are much newer. Vecna is a company that made the most of an opportunity and created a robotics business that is focused on logistics. Now they have a string of patents (issued and pending) running into the hundreds, and they have invested a significant amount of money – tens of millions –into the research and development of robotics. Large companies have been convinced by the implementations and have invested in their robots in order to grow their operations.
What can robots really do?
The difference with Vecna is the variety of robots they have, all designed to complete different tasks in the warehouse, from picking and pallet moves to operations. FT.com took an in-depth look at how robotics can eliminate human error.
Another thing that separates Vecna is that fact that its robots can be operated around humans. Amazon’s robots, KIVA, have to be operated away from humans in a different section of the warehouse, but Vecna’s robots are able to work in the same area. They have a vision system that is sophisticated enough to enable them to navigate around people, and they can even communicate and collaborate with each other. In the right environment, with shelving such as https://www.rackzone.ie/shelving/industrial-residential-shelving from a company supplying industrial shelving Ireland, these robots could increase efficiency in distribution facilities.
A vision system is driven by artificial intelligence. Vecna robots can ask for help from a human when they discover something new, and they can react to their environment and learn from it.
Daniel Theobald, the Chief Innovation Officer of Vecna, said that when there is a problem to solve, it isn’t always clear which robots or humans are best suited, so their robots are designed to react in the best way to provide the solution with the highest ROI. The technology is not confined to a robot body; the “robot brain” can be placed into any vehicle and it will be turned into a robot.