Scientists aid developments of warehouse robots

Published: 04 June 2018

University of Edinburgh researchers are helping to develop smart robots to quickly shift goods in warehouses or assembly lines.

The system will help increase efficiency and automation in warehouse operations. Businesses such as online retailers face an increased need for orders to be automatically selected from vast ranges and volumes of stock. 

We are delighted to see the successful results of more than two years of collaboration... this provides an excellent opportunity to see this expertise used to solve real world problems.

Professor Sethu Vijayakumar , Personal Chair in Robotics, School of Informatics


The system, developed for Hitachi, is almost 40 per cent faster than its predecessor. It is based on multiple artificially intelligent components that work together. A smart camera, pre-programmed with details about the goods to be moved, scans items as they are conveyed by an automated vehicle towards a robot arm.

Data collected by the camera influences the speed of the vehicle carrying the goods, and informs how the robot arm picks up items as they pass. Optimised process The system’s vehicle and arm can move close to each other at optimal speeds without colliding, based on adaptive motion planning.

This allows for smooth collection of items without stopping the vehicle. The method improves on conventional technology in which the process halts for goods to be collected...

Full story via The University of Edinburgh news


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