IoT logistics: Zalando to use robots to pick packages

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IoT logistics: Zalando to use robots to pick packages

Zalando, a German electronic commerce company based in Berlin, has announced plans to use the latest generation “stow & pick” IoT logistics robots to automate its warehouses. Tests are currently under way, and the company plans to go fully operational in May of next year.
Industry experts had expected something like this ever since Zalando made a major investment in Magazino, a startup founded in 2014 and one of the leading developers of advanced logistics robotics. The latest model, named “Toru”, is specialized in picking and stowing individual and cuboid objects in E-Commerce warehouses. Two of these IoT logistics robots are currently being tested at a Zalando facility in Erfurt.

Unlike most conventional automation systems that can only handle pallets or crates, Tofu uses sophisticated cameras and AI to recognize and handle individual objects, making it ideal for the kind of state-of-the-art chaotic storage system used by Zalando.
Carl-Friedrich zu Knyphausen, head of logistics development at Zalando, denies that the move is aimed at replacing human workers. Instead, he maintains, they will assist their human collegues by taking over heaving lifting and overhead working, both of which involve often painful and potentially harmful physical activities.

The idea was to let the robots take over tasks that are unergonomical or dangerous,

he says.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Magazino

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