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In the News: Robotics Roundtable Discussion | A look into the future of robotics

Where does the robotics industry stand today? Which technologies are attracting the most user interest? What does the future hold with respect to new innovations and applications? To get some answers, we asked leading experts from companies participating in DC Velocity's new Robotics & AutomationDX showcase. Here's what they had to say:

Q: How do you view the current state of the robotics industry?20210322_primer_warehouse_robots

Steven Hogg – Bastian Solutions: Companies are focusing on stabilizing their workforce and supply chains by investing in proven robotic technologies. Investing in robotics reduces the number of workers required to meet their order fulfillment requirements. Also, robotic work cells provide a safe, socially distant work environment that is cleaner and more efficient to operate than a traditional operator workstation.

Q: How has the growth of microfulfillment centers impacted robotics, and how have robotics providers responded to those demands?

Steven Hogg – Bastian Solutions: With the emergence of microfulfillment centers by major retailers and grocers, the requirement for robotics to expand their "labor" force, flexibility, and reliability is greater than ever. Traditional goods-to-person technologies are now transitioning to goods-to-robot workstations to ensure companies are achieving their key performance indicators (KPIs) like order fulfillment, productivity, system availability, and uptime. A robot improves the order fulfillment process by increasing order accuracy, reducing order cycle time to shipment, and achieving on-time delivery.

Q: In what ways do AI and machine learning impact robotic designs?

Steven Hogg – Bastian Solutions: AI allows the robotic system to learn and adapt to product state and variation. Multiple robots share the same software so they can learn from each other and improve together. With AI, the vision system is capable of handling high variation and processing as a human would. This will drive improvement and intelligence for all warehouse operations of the future.


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