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A New Warehouse Robot Arrives to Speed Up Picking

July 31, 2017
A new warehouse robot known as Chuck has been developed to speed up split case picking operations.

With the unlikely name of Chuck, yet another robot, this one developed by 6 River Systems, has been launched as an automated warehouse assistant.

Chuck’s job is to assist human warehouse employees in finding the items they need to pick. It can also help with restocking.

In an article on CNBC, Lora Kolodny points out that though a screen located on the Chuck unit, employees can get information about their own productivity during a shift. “The idea is to motivate them to work as safely and efficiently as possible,” Kolodny says.

Chuck (also known as the Collaborative Fulfillment System) was introduced in April at the ProMat 2017 show. 6 River Systems (6RS) describes it as a turnkey automation solution for split case picking operations typically found in e-commerce, retail replenishment, third-party logistics (3PL), and parts distribution.

"Chuck can carry a maximum payload of 160 lbs with configurable slots and lighting that can support the tote and carton configurations specific to your operation," 6 Rivers says.

6RS claims its robot “has demonstrated significant rate improvements—two to three times faster—over existing cart pick technologies.”

The solution uses proprietary mobile robots and cloud-based enterprise software that integrates with all warehouse management systems. The company points out that a new infrastructure Is not required, explaining that the robot can be fully operational at a customer site in a couple of weeks.

“We expected 50% rate improvement using a small number of robots, but we achieved greater than 100% improvements during initial pilots and used fewer robots than expected," says Christopher Cacioppo, 6RS' co-founder.

The robots could become smarter over time, and could help warehouse managers and operators identify areas for improvement, essentially managing foot traffic and placement of inventory on shelves. as reported by Kolodny.

Current customers include half a dozen publicly traded companies, including department stores, big-box retailers and 3PLs. 

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