Robotic Technology Trends in eCommerce Logistics
Today, robotic technology is an integral part of business processes. Amazing it may sound, but businesses are taking help of robotic technology to get their things done in an easy, convenient and affordable manner. As robots have become smarter and more efficient, they are getting more prominence in the supply chain process. Starting from automated vehicles to robotic arms and drones, we now have new levels of productivity in the supply chain management.
As the deployment of these advanced machines becomes uncomplicated, the whole process has become attractive and efficient. According to a recent survey by Tractica, it was found that there will be a fifteen times increase in the number of robots operating in warehouses. It is estimated to reach 620,000 in 2021 from just 40000 in 2016. eCommerce is a field that is adopting this technology at a very fast pace which will change its future.
These are the latest trends in robotic technology that are changing the future of eCommerce shipping and warehousing:
Robots are Becoming Intelligent, Focused, and Visionary Machines
With an ongoing demand in eCommerce, the need for advanced robotic technology is being felt. To cater to this huge demand, a lot of warehouses are making use of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for transporting materials and reduce human movement. These machines are basically handled by material handlers to transport goods from one warehouse to the other. Moreover, automated conveyor systems are being used to scan the packages and move them in the right areas. And, companies are finding it easier to deploy such technology as it is not a huge fixed cost any more.
With the passage of time, robots have become smaller, smarter and more flexible, and are being used in more complex applications with ease. Also, robots have become safer than ever to work with.
With the help of Artificial Intelligence, robots in eCommerce are taking their decisions based on machine learning which helps them to be a visionary who can visualize long-term business goals.
Deploying Robots in the Business is More Affordable Today
In addition to becoming advanced, robotic technology has also become quite affordable. In last few years, there has been a reduction in the price of different components, such as servers, processors, controllers, arms, servos and so on. Affordability is a big boosting factor that more and more businesses are deploying the robotic technology.
Moreover, new companies are coming up in the market with innovative robotic technologies. For example, Vecna Robotics has come up with a variety of collaborative robots for different purposes, starting from picking to even moving pallets. Other companies like Eyesee and DroneScan provide advanced software and high-resolution cameras on drones to automate inventory processes.
Role of Humans will Change with the Advancement in Technology
With greater adoption of robotic technology in warehouses, the role of humans is bound to change. While jobs with predictable and repetitive processes will be eliminated, it is expected that skilled labor will be required for operating and maintaining these machines.
However, it may not hold true in all cases. For example, eCommerce giant Amazon which has more than 100,000 robots operating in its distribution centers, has actually added 80,000 warehouse employees. As workers work in tandem with robots, they would need to wear equipment, such as exoskeleton suites, robotic gloves and so on to prevent injury. And as rightly put forward by Dean Starovasnik, the Practice Director of Distribution Engineering Design at Peach State Integrated Technologies, “even the most advanced machines have limits on what they can do. Humans don’t. You’re always going to need humans in warehouses.”