It’s 8 am a the logistics hub at Bechtle Platz 1 and Cloudio has just picked up his first parcels of the day. Packed neatly into a portable, multi-level shelving unit, the valuable consignment is manoeuvred some 120 metres from goods in to its destination—a job Cloudio completes around a dozen times a day. The new warehouse assistant has been in the job since last autumn and has quickly become a reliable member of the team despite measuring in at only 90 cm long, 60 cm wide and just shy of 50 cm tall. Cloudio is a collaborative robot, or cobot, that helps out the warehouse team completely autonomously. He’s the first of his kind and the next step towards flexible and smart automation within Bechtle logistics—a fundamental component of the 2030 logistics strategy.
The number of packages leaving the Bechtle logistics hub every day now stands at some 22,000—a number that in 2020 was around 25 per cent bigger than the previous year. The huge demand for IT products to allow working from home and on the road kept the 120 staff in the warehouse extremely busy, not least because of the very strict precautions taken to protect against infection during the pandemic. And in the background, the first collaborative warehouse robot was quietly celebrating its début in regular operations. Of course, it wasn’t actually that quiet thanks to the fact that the cobot makes a distinctive beep to warn colleagues of its approach as part of a sophisticated safety concept.
The project team christened the little helper Cloudio in a nod to the technology that keeps him moving, but his given name is actually MiR100. Born in Denmark, the robot comes with a coherent hardware setup that includes the latest 360° sensors. Its “brain” is located in a Kubernetes cloud that doesn’t just send him a high-resolution map of the warehouse, but also his orders for the day.
Read full article Robotic, practical, good: A cobot conquers the Bechtle logistics center