Fetch and Freight are new robots for the logistics industry

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  • Plant & Equipment

Fetch and Freight, two robots designed to automate logistics and increase warehouse speed and efficiency, have been unveiled by Fetch Robotics.

Fetch is an advanced mobile manipulator that can be autonomously deployed to fulfil orders as they arrive. After navigating to the proper inventory, the robot — which can vary its height between 1.09m and 1.49m and can lift about 6kg — can autonomously segment and detect items on the shelf, selecting the best item to fulfil the order.

Freight, on the other hand, is a mobile base that receives the goods from Fetch — or a human — and provides quick transit through the warehouse. It can carry a payload of about 68kg.

Each robot is capable of independent, autonomous behaviour, performing repetitive tasks such as warehouse delivery, pick and pack, and more. Used in tandem, Fetch Robotics says Fetch and Freight are capable of handling the vast majority of all items in a typical warehouse.

Each Fetch can cover a portion of your warehouse space, the company says, while a Freight can be tasked to be a single order, a single item or multiple unrelated items. A number of Freights can be deployed and queued.

The robots’ ability to work both autonomously and continuously is enhanced by the use of a charging dock which allows the units to charge when needed and then continue on with their tasks.

The system includes software built on the open-source robot operating system ROS to support the robots and integrate with the warehouse environment.

Each robot is able to communicate a variety of metrics and data back to the central fleet server. A web-based interface allows warehouse floor managers to get real-time access to where robots are, how orders are being fulfilled and the status of the inventory. Custom graphs and charts can be added to the dashboard to highlight important metrics or data.

The Fetch manipulator has features such as: 3D RGB depth sensor; back-drivable 7DOF arm; modular gripper interface; head expansion mount points; pan-tilt head; and differential drive. It is also ROS-enabled.

Freight, on the other hand, has: base expansion mount points; 2D laser scanner; stereo speaker; computer access panel; run-stop; and is ROS-enabled.

"The growth of e-commerce and mobile e-commerce is pressuring retailers to invest in solutions that can handle the burdens of an on-demand economy," Fetch Robotics CEO Melonee Wise says. "We see our robots as a key ingredient for warehouses that are looking to become more efficient with respect to fulfilment and customer satisfaction."

 

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