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How robotics can fit your operation


If you wanted to create the perfect mix of conditions to trigger the growth of a type of automated equipment for distribution center operations, you couldn't do much better than the factors lining up in favor of robotics. E-commerce and omni-channel fulfillment are driving labor-intensive piece picking, and warehouse labor is increasingly difficult to find and retain. DC operators know they need to automate to reduce these challenges, but few operations are able to plunk down millions for traditional automation projects that carry long payback times and might be difficult to reconfigure. Enter a new generation of robots, based on technology that uses on-board sensors and a more "natural" approach to navigation. Research shows high interest in robotics.

Robotics in logistics reflect a promising future


Advancement in science and technology has transported us to an era where nothing seems impossible or beyond the reach of humankind. A technology that has elevated our flight of imagination is the robotics that is arriving slowly but surely in cautious and well-considered stages. While personal robots have already arrived at our homes, commercial robots have taken the task of providing service to the manufacturing side of the supply chain, mostly in the automotive sector. However, there lies a huge unexplored sector of logistics where robots are yet to show their skillfulness. Warehouses at all times have dealt with demands for increased productivity, which is hard to achieve with manual and labour intensive processes.

Big round for robotics company picking up where Kiva left off


RightHand Robotics, a Boston-based robotics company tackling a particularly vexing technical challenge for ecommerce fulfillment centers, has secured $23 million in Series B funding. The Round was led by Menlo Ventures with participation from GV (formerly Google Ventures). RightHand's rapid growth is a testament to the mounting challenges faced by ecommerce fulfillment centers, which are confronting higher throughput and a tight labor market. While much of the fulfillment process has been automated, logistics providers still rely on armies of human workers to perform mundane piece-picking tasks, such as moving items from a conveyer belt to a bin. Though seemingly straightforward, the technical challenge of automating piece-picking for ecommerce is immense.

Robots Were Supposed To Automate Every Industry. Now Cobots -- Cheap, Smart Robots -- Actually Might.


Robots in factories have historically been unwieldy, dangerous, and confined to large industrial settings. But now, smaller collaborative robots are overcoming traditional challenges in the robotics industry. They're paving the way for robot technology that gets us much closer to our Jetsons-like future. When George C. Devol, inventor of the automatic garage door opener, pitched his programmable Unimate arm, he was initially met with skepticism. However, "the robot had one advantage immediately," said Devol. "And that is that a robot can work three shifts, or 24 hours a day." Get the free data-driven report to see how robots are revolutionizing factories and manufacturing.

The Real Robotics Revolution Arrives as a Service


The real robotics revolution is not having robots take care of tasks but having them available to businesses as a service. And so another acronyms to represent the expanding world of as a service is added to today's business vocabulary. The business world has introduced a number of different functions as a service, including software-as a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-service (Iaas) among others. But another as a service category has come on the scene in the past couple of years: robotics-as-a-service (RaaS). RELATED: WHY ARE WE SO SCARED OF ROBOTS? 15 EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON WHAT THE REAL DANGERS ARE The video above explains RaaS "is a cloud computing unit that facilitates the seamless integration of robot and embedded devices into Web and cloud computing environment."