Amazon’s success with automation has incentivized an industry-wide warehouse robotics boom. Locus Robotics, for instance, was started in 2015 after Quiet Logistics’ robotics supplier Kiva systems was bought out by the online retail giant, said Bloomberg.
Today, Locus sells its robotics solutions to DHL Supply Chain, a unit of the largest third-party logistics company in the world. Just recently, Locus debuted what has been hailed as a groundbreaking advancement in autonomous robotics navigation.
With the latest advancement, Locus has enabled seamless multi-robot warehouse fulfillment for retailers and third-party logistics providers.
“Until now, it was challenging to have multiple robots operate in a coordinated fashion in a warehouse environment,” Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics, said in a statement. “With our new Locus Robotics Advanced Navigation (LRAN) system, we can support large numbers of robots operating seamlessly and collaboratively alongside workers in a warehouse.”
In a booth at ProMat 2017 designed to look like a miniature warehouse, Locus showed off its latest tech, which allows, among other things, autonomous warehouse robots to work alongside human warehouse operations workers.
This cooperative environment has been a key point of focus for Locus and others across the robotics industry while developing their technologies.
“The first trend was to try to replace humans,” Faulk reportedly said. “Now it’s about humans and robots working collaboratively.”
As of now, the company reports eight customer deployments of LRAN are currently under way in North America, with new software being introduced via Locus’ automatic cloud distribution system.
The market for automation technology in warehouses is set to take off in the next five years due to sustained growth in the eCommerce industry and demand for enhanced quality. Research and Markets projects that the warehouse robotics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.8 percent between 2017 and 2022.
By 2022, the warehouse robotics market will have grown to a value of some $4.44 billion.