There’s a growing number of mobile robots that can pick and place items on high shelves. Geek+ today introduced the RoboShuttle RS8-DA, a 26-foot-tall mobile robot that lift payloads up to 529 lb (240 kg). This is the third robot in the company’s RoboShuttle lineup.
The RoboShuttle RS8-DA features a slim design and double deep telescopic arms. According to Geek+, it offers a maximum reach of 26.7 feet (8 meters) high, but can reach inventory rows between 0.9 feet (0.2 meters) and 23.8 feet (7.8 meters) high. The system can handle a variety of totes, cartons, or boxes, Geek+ said.
The RoboShuttle RS8-DA is equipped with a depth camera and other sensors, and it uses QR code-based navigation to move around a facility. Geek+ said the goods-to-person system can autonomously transfer up to 8 totes to and from the workstation, automating picking, replenishment, reverse logistics, and inventory checking processes.
The CE, FCC, and UL-certified system has a run time about 2-3 hours, the company said. We’ve referred to these types of system’s before as a “poor man’s ASRS system.” They would appear to be much cheaper than installing traditional ASRS systems from AutoStore, for example, which are typically reserved for new facilities or require extensive overhauling of old facilities. On the surface, the RoboShuttle from Geek+, and similar solutions from other providers, could maximize existing warehouse space.
“With e-commerce and warehouse rental spikes, businesses need flexibility and space utilization that traditional automation does not provide,” said Liu Kai, co-founder and VP of smart warehouse products at Geek+. “Our engineering teams are continuously developing innovative solutions to meet this demand and allow our clients to remain competitive while providing a safe working environment to their employees.”
Here is a quick comparison of Geek+’s three RoboShuttle models:
Chinese company Hai Robotics recently raised $200 million for its autonomous case handling robots (ACRs). Featuring a similar form factor to the RoboShuttles, Hai’s ACRs can pick and place totes or cartons on storage shelves 16-23 feet high using a telescopic lift. The robots can carry up to 8 loads to continuously feed goods-to-person picking stations.
Other similar solutions include Conveyco’s Stacker-Bot and Addverb Technologies’ Veloce. Certain there are other solutions on the market, too. Vecna Robotics won the 2017 DHL Picking Challenge using a similar prototype called the Tote Retrieval System. However, it doesn’t appear Vecna ever commercialized the system.
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