Warehouse operators looking to maximize space often go taller with their racking. As more operations look to automate warehouse operations, that height can provide an obstacle to effective storage and retrieval of items, especially in an e-commerce environment where retrieval of single items dominates the picking process.
Welcome the 26-foot-tall warehouse worker.
Global autonomous mobile robot (AMR) company Geek+ has introduced a 26.24-foot robot – the RoboShuttle RS8-DA – with a flexible arm and tote-picking capabilities to retrieve those hard-to-reach items.
“With e-commerce and warehouse rental spikes, businesses need flexibility and space utilization that traditional automation does not provide. Our engineering teams are continuously developing innovative solutions to meet this demand and allow our clients to remain competitive while providing a safe working environment to their employees,” Liu Kai, co-founder and vice president of smart warehouse products for Geek+, said in a statement.
RoboShuttle is compatible with a variety of racks, totes, cartons and various box sizes. The company said the robotic solution can improve space utilization as much as five times. The robot features a slim yet robust chassis design with a flexible doorframe and double deep telescopic fork arms. It can retrieve items as low as 11 inches and as high as 25.6 feet.
Equipped with an intelligent depth camera and high-precision sensors, the robot can adjust its arms to pick boxes of varying sizes, optimizing overall shelf space, Geek+ said. When connected to a warehouse management system, RoboShuttle can transfer up to eight totes to and from a workstation.
“As a long-term automation partner with strong R&D capabilities, we see it as our responsibility to facilitate various transitions that a business might be facing using flexible robotics,” Kai said. “Our AMR solutions are uniquely tailored to meet industry-specific challenges that logistics operators are facing today.”
Founded in 2015, Geek+ provides autonomous robots but also technologies designed to automate logistics operations. AMRs are the evolved versions of the automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that have been in the industry for a few decades. AGVs typically are used for repetitive tasks in a warehouse, like relaying materials and fetching products. AGVs are not intelligent and thus completely dependent on humans to determine their routes.
AMRs, though, use artificial intelligence to intuitively understand a warehouse floor, updating their databases in real time on the constant changes within inventories. AMRs can collaborate and work in tandem with other intelligent warehousing systems, helping warehouses run operations without hiccups even during the peak demand season.
The Geek+ product line includes goods-to-person picking robots, bin-to-person RoboShuttles and sorting, moving and lifting robots.
In June 2020, Geek+ announced the closing of a $200 million Series C investment round led by GGV Capital, D1 Capital Partners along with Warburg Pincus. Total funding in the company is $439.4 million across six rounds, according to Crunchbase. In July, it announced it had sold more than 20,000 robots globally.