After his presentation ‘How to use robots to move material economically’ at Parcel+Post Expo Innovation Forum, in Amsterdam, Dr Erik Wilhelm, head of research at Kyburz Switzerland, sat down with Parcel and Postal Technology International to answer a few quick questions.
What was your presentation about?
Evaluating the economics of automated ground vehicles for logistics tasks.
What did the audience learn?
Tools and best practices for making these evaluations (plus links for open-source information about these tools).
How do you expect robots to affect the future of the parcel and postal delivery industry?
Long term, there will only be robots delivering objects. In the short and middle terms, the economics of mobile robots means that use cases need to be carefully evaluated. We presented a series of methods for doing this evaluation based on the state of the art technology of today.
What areas should posts be looking to invest in to best prepare for this future?
Robots for logistics applications can be economical in certain applications today – the trick is making a fair evaluation of what is possible. That is where our tools and results can help.
What advice would you give other posts or parcel companies thinking about optimizing their robotic material movement processes?
Don’t do it for the YouTube video! It’s important not to invest in robotics for the marketing effect or perception of being a technology leader – if you pick the right application, you can also save money in the present day.
Can you give us an example of the challenges and opportunities Kyburz has experienced?
We provided a number of field test results in the presentation, but the most important one is to always document and specify features as much as possible.
What are Kyburz’s plans for the future?
We will continue to develop high-quality robots for our customers, and find the right applications for these systems.
See the full conference program, here.