Top roles robots play
in logistics in 2022

September 19, 2022

The world is changing quickly, especially in the technology field, and the need for robots has increased in the past few years. Due to labor shortage during the pandemic, the urgent necessity to find workforce alternatives to support business activities has risen the roles robots play in all business sectors, particularly in logistics activities.

Robots now play a significant role in warehouses, and they are used for moving goods, warehousing processes, and other supply chain workflows. They are becoming more intelligent by the day, so they can be used to accomplish more tasks from manufacturing to warehousing, delivering, and other support operations, resulting in smart factories being faster and more efficient. 

According to Statista, 158,000 logistics robots were sold in 2021, and the number is expected to grow to 250,000 in 2023. This article will focus on the role of robots in logistics and their advantages in rapidly developing the sector. 

Organizing inventory

Robotic arms are one of the logistics robots, and it is used to automate placing products. When combined with self-driving bases, it can move materials and sort goods on warehouses’ shelves, reducing the risk of injuries employees might have during this process.

It also reduces costs and gives better control over the whole process as it provides safe and fast lifting, unloading, storing, and packing operations. These robotic arms benefit companies with massive warehouses with very low or high shelves, making it harder for employees to complete the organizing task. 

Transportation with self-driving vehicles

It is not a secret that artificial intelligence has caused a revolution in the transportation industry and companies are increasingly using self-driving vehicles since they can operate without direct physical involvement.

That makes using them inexpensive, safe and fast. Robotic vehicles are autonomous and don not need a driver to operate. They can move in the warehouses with the ability to avoid blocks because it is equipped with QR code reading systems and radio-frequency identification signals (RFID).

The evolution in the machine learning technology field has made robot vehicles more reliable and independent on the streets and some of these vehicles are supplements to warehouse workers. They are called collaborative bots (cobots). This type of robot is considered an important development in the robotics industry as it allows employees to work safely alongside robots reducing costs and improving task performance efficiency.

Delivery and shipment using robotic air vehicles - Drones

Drones are one of the most used self-driving vehicles these days, the first thing to come to mind when we hear the word “logistics robots”. They are aircrafts that do not have any pilot, crew or passengers on board. According to Entrepreneur, “The best use of drones in logistics is for time-sensitive or perishable cargo.”

Drones can fly carrying goods with limited weight and efficiently deliver goods for far distances. They are especially useful because they can reach some places difficult to access using other methods. There are many types of Drones and each one has its unique feature depending on battery size and added software.

Customer service - Goods-to-person (GTP)

Goods-to-person is a new method designed to fulfill demands. The system has lightweight products sorted inside it and these products are automatically brought to an operator when needed. This process is fully automated and it is being performed by AI-powered robots, eliminating the need for wasteful-walking time and providing accurate storage data.

The most crucial advantage of goods-to-person is that screens in the workplace display the goods that customers asked for thus the chances of making mistakes in order fulfillment are very low even during periods of high demand.

Monitoring and inventory management - Internet of Things

Human consumption rates have increased over the years and there is a growing demand for goods and services worldwide. Businesses are facing many difficulties related to manufacturing and retail processes.

By using the internet of things, companies can track various factors related to product statuses such as expiry, storage requirements, and shipment situation through collecting real-time data during operations. This data allows businesses to improve their customer services and develop their specialization strategy.

Conclusion

In the past few years, robots’ role has increased in all life aspects. Business is not an exception. Many types of robots are used in warehouses to facilitate transport, organize operations, and reduce the burden on workers. Using robots can minimize employee errors, reduce warehouse costs and ensure workers’ safety.

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Did you know?

The first ever ‘cargo only’ flight was recorded in November 1910 in the USA, using a Wright Model B aeroplane that flew 65 miles carrying a package of silk. The business owner used the pioneering transport more as a PR stunt to celebrate the opening of his store, with the bundle of silk cut into individual pieces and glued onto souvenir postcards.

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