DHL Supply Chain, the American logistics company, is moving up a gear in its warehouse automation. The company has announced that it will therefore deploy 1,000 autonomous robots, distributed across the company’s 12 sites, based in North America. The robots which are to be used by DHL are LocusBots which have been designed by the start-up Locus Robotics.
The design of the LocusBots has been specially conceived so that they can work in a warehouse alongside humans. Their role will be to send the references, within a distribution site, after locating them. After the LocusBots have located the items within the warehouse, the products are then picked up and loaded by the human employees.
LocusBots have been operational for subscribers since 2016, with the solution developed using a Raas (Robot-as-a-Service) model. The main advantage of the LocusBot solution is that it greatly reduces the time spent on physically demanding and routine tasks as well as increasing productivity and reducing manual errors. DHL opted for LocusBots as this type of robot does not require any specific layout in the warehouse, thereby making it cost-effective and easy to deploy.
The partnership between Locus Robotics and DHL Supply Chain is part of a global strategy that DHL Supply Chain began in 2018, with the company investing more than 270 million euros in new technologies. This investment is also part of its digital transformation plan, based on 14 target technologies, half of which involve collaborative robotics solutions. DHL hopes to entice e-retailers to adopt its logistics solution, believing that the battle for delivery begins at the warehouse.