Logistics provider GXO Logistics has deployed collaborative robots, or ‘Chucks’, built by 6 River Systems (6RS), in one of its distribution centers in Milton Keynes, UK, that has multiple mezzanine floors.
GXO collaborated with 6RS to develop and test new features on the Chucks, which automatically travel from one location to another carrying picked items. These robots use learning and artificial intelligence to lead warehouse employees through their workzones to help them minimize walking, stay on task and work more efficiently, meaning they can be used for put-away, picking, counting, replenishment and sorting tasks without the need for changes to an operation’s infrastructure.
The solution is configurable up to six levels and use widely standardized and easily recognizable tools designed to resemble an automobile. These tools consist of a combination of touchscreen controls, RF technology and put-to-light cues. At another UK GXO site in Stoke-on-Trent, the Chucks have enhanced picking accuracy by 40% and reduced new employee training time by 80% since being deployed.
Gavin Williams, managing director of GXO UK and Ireland, said, “This multi-tiered installation is groundbreaking for us and a first in our industry. The solution illustrates our significant investment in technology that helps us improve productivity for our customers and safety for our colleagues while optimizing vertical warehouse space in Europe.”
Jerome Dubois, co-founder and co-CEO of 6RS, said, “Our work with GXO at the Milton Keynes distribution center is a prime example of 6 River Systems’ ability to meet the needs of high-volume organizations that are building multi-tiered warehouse installations. As businesses continue to seek automation solutions to meet increasing consumer demands, we’re innovating to equip them with technology to enhance safety and productivity.”