How can robots help in a warehouse?

Today's consumer demands ever faster production and delivery times. This means that manufacturers must necessarily speed up their production and logistics processes to remain competitive.

Mobile robotic solutions are already established in transport and logistics with more than 49,500 units (+45%) sold in 2021, according to World Robotics 2022. In addition, it shows a record high of robots installed in factories worldwide, reaching a 31% year-on-year growth rate.

Find out in this article about the different types of warehouse robots, the advantages of a mobile robot in a factory, what aspects to take into account, lists of manufacturers, etc.

Are you considering automating some tasks in your workplace? You have heard about automation by robotics but have doubts about it? Do you already have good experience with a warehouse robot and are you considering expanding your AMR fleet? This reading clarifies many of the most frequently asked questions, but if you still have doubts, our team is ready for any specifics.

TYPES OF ROBOTS FOR A WAREHOUSE

Static, guided, mobile... Automation and robotics in warehouses differ depending on the specific manufacturing needs. In some cases, bulky, static robots are needed to perform tasks automatically and always in the same place.
In other cases, a mobile robot that performs tasks in different locations within the same warehouse is more useful. It is also common to combine static and mobile robotics for workplaces where different tasks are performed at the same time.

These are the 3 main types of warehouse robots:

  • Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). These are the ones that require the installation of guides, magnets or some kind of markers to move in a predictable way. AGVs are usually in demand for tasks that require little complexity.
  • Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR). They move autonomously and in an unlimited space by means of sensor elements. They are able to avoid obstacles and re-route if necessary.
  • Mobile Manipulators. These are autonomous mobile robots, AMR, which integrate a robotic arm into the platform. So they have the capacity to perform the same tasks as a robotic arm, but in different locations.

WHAT IS A WAREHOUSE ROBOT?

They are robots developed with the necessary software and hardware to automate tasks within a warehouse, support the human team, replace them in cases of repetitive or dangerous tasks, and ultimately, streamline and improve all manufacturing processes.
The vast majority of Robotnik products are robots capable of working in warehouses and factories as they have different sizes, load capacities and technical specifications. Here you can see the warehouse robots and here the mobile warehouse manipulators.

3 TIPS FOR AUTOMATE YOUR WAREHOUSE ON AN INTELLIGENT WAY

  1. Consider multi-purpose robots. One of the main trends in warehouse robotics is to acquire a robot capable of performing multiple tasks, i.e. a multi-purpose robot.
  2. Mobile Manipulation. Robotnik has recently experienced an increase in demand for mobile manipulators in warehouses. One of the most automated tasks in this environment is the transport of goods, but what if you have the option of a single robot to perform both transport and pick and place? Mobile handling is a clear trend for 2022 that will continue to consolidate.
  3. Let yourself be advised by experts. It is usual for an end user to be clear about what the improvement he wants or his goal, but he doesn’t necessarily know what specific robotic solution he needs to achieve that goal. In this sense, Robotnik has 20 years of experience in service robotics.

Amazon's intelligent warehouse automation strategy is definitely working, let's start yours?


What is a Pick and Place robot?

Pick and Place tasks are those that involve picking and placing in a different place or position, whether they are parts, products or other elements or loads. These are common logistical tasks in factories, warehouses and industrial environments, which a robot can handle perfectly well as they are mechanical, repetitive and tedious. This is where pick and place robots come into their own.

Traditionally, static robotic arms are referred to as pick & place robots, but Robotnik is a pioneer in autonomous mobile manipulation: it is a mobile platform that integrates a robotic arm. This means that the robot arm is no longer bound to a fixed, specific space, but can perform pick and place tasks in as many locations as required.

The advantages of Pick & Place robots for production processes are diverse, and derive, fundamentally, in two benefits: the reduction of production times and increase in the profitability of the same.

  • Increased production rate
  • Minimising errors in the production process
  • 24/7 working shifts
  • Increased production rate
  • Increased accuracy

How to choose a Pick and Place robot?

There is a wide range of picking robots on offer but not all of them are suitable for every application. The ultimate goal is to automate product manipulation and placement tasks within a production line.

Did you know that Robotnik has developed a robot specifically designed for Pick and Place tasks?

The RB-KAIROS+ mobile manipulator robot can not only perform these tasks in an optimal way, but it also does it in a collaborative way, sharing workspace with operators without risk.

Three factors should be taken into account:

  1. Do you need a fixed arm or do you prefer the arm to be able to change location? With this mobile manipulator, both options are available as it performs the task in the same or different locations. This means further optimisation of the investment in the robot.
  2. Arm reach. Robotnik’s RB-KAIROS+ is a pick and place robot that integrates a Universal Robots arm with a reach of 1,300 mm in the mobile platform.
  3. Payload. The pick and place tasks can be with very small to very large elements or parts. RB-KAIROS+ has a payload capacity of 12.5 kg on the arm and up to 250 kg on the platform.

What tasks can a Pick and Place robot perform?

They are especially useful for tasks in assembly or packaging applications (transporting or placing parts from one part of the chain to another), quality control (inspection of errors and removal of defective parts), screwdriving, metrology, assembly, polishing…

Many of Robotnik’s customers already had an arm in their business to perform these tasks, but they decided to maximise its potential by integrating it into a mobile platform. In this way, they added the ability of autonomous movement.

The RB-KAIROS+ mobile manipulator is one of the best-selling pick & place robots because of its versatility (the mobile platform is omnidirectional, allowing it to move to an infinite number of locations at a speed 1 to 5 times faster than a differential one) and because it is easy for the customer to set up.

Do you want to see an example of a Pick and Place robot operating in a real environment?