A Chinese warehouse belonging to e-commerce giant Alibaba successfully increased its production rate by 300 percent by incorporating robots into the workflow.
The 32,000-square-foot warehouse, which is located in the Huiyang district of China’s Huizhou, is powered by artificially intelligent indoor driving robots made by Quicktron, a Shanghai-based startup founded in 2014.
Using a wireless network, the automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are able to receive instructions for their individual assignments in order to assist human workers with warehouse internal operations such as packing, making returns and checking inventory.
The bots are used to haul necessary shelving racks and packages weighing up to 500 kgs (roughly 1,100 lb) to employee workstations, traveling speeds of up to 5 feet per second.
The AGVs, which use lasers to navigate around the warehouse, are able to independently communicate with each other and give way to other bots to avoid collisions, according to Alizila, the news hub for Alibaba Group.
Plus, the devices even know when their battery life is getting low and can return to a charging port independently in order to power back up.
According to PlaceTech, a packing clerk at the Alibaba facility used to walk an average of 27,924 steps per shift around the warehouse daily. That number was dramatically cut to just 2,563 because of the AGVs.
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