FedEx has implemented AI-powered robotic technology to load boxes into trucks and trailers.
Truck loading is physically taxing and is one of the key challenges faced by distribution hubs.
The technology was developed with Dexterity AI, which focuses on truck loading applications by advancing the capabilities of mobile robots.
According to FedEx, a new solution was needed as previous technology had not been able to handle the complex decision needed to stack the wide range of shipments encountered in FedEx network, which vary in size, shape, weight and packaging material.
Some of the additional functions Dexterity AI claims to be able to provide include improvements in touching, thinking and moving quickly to pack trailers with stable, dense walls of randomised boxes.
“Our culture of innovation is driven by a desire to help our team members and customers succeed,” said Rebecca Yeung, corporate vice president of operations science and advanced technologies for FedEx.
“Based on feedback from our operations team, we have been looking for a solution that helps alleviate the challenges of truck loading. Collaborating with Dexterity AI to combine the latest in AI and robotics supports our operations team while meeting growing customer demand.”
DexterityAI’s proprietary mobile robot design, named DexR, was developed to navigate autonomously to the back of trailers and connect to a conveyor system that feeds the robot boxes directly from the sortation system.
Its two-arm design means it is able to pick and pack boxes simultaneously, which its developer has said improves throughput.
The AI platform includes generative wall planning, a sense of touch and picking software powered by machine learning to drive continual improvements.
FedEx is trialling the technology on an ongoing basis, with a goal to refine the technology and deploy commercially in the future.
The first-ever Robotics & Automation Awards will recognise excellence in the deployment of automated systems and robotics throughout intralogistics processes through the Innovation in the Warehouse category. Interested in attending this unmissable event for the robotics and automation sectors and networking with pioneers of the industry? Book your table now!