Many science fiction books have a theme of robots going out of control and attacking their human owners. Warehouse robots are unlikely to behave this way, but it is a challenge to effectively integrate human and robot workers so that they work well together.
Robots and human are controlled by a warehouse management system that needs to understand what inventory is coming in and what goods need to be shipped out. The system can then direct the operation of putting inventory in the correct location of the warehouse shelving systems, and directing workers or robots to the locations from which goods need to be picked.
The goal of a warehouse system is to make sure that both robots and human warehouse workers operate efficiently together. This needs to take into account the different speeds at which humans and robots can work. Robots may be able to quickly put goods onto conveyor belts, but humans need to be able to deal with the number of goods arriving at their work stations. For tasks like pallet racking, this may mean deliberately slowing down the robots or putting them into queues while they wait for other robots or humans to complete tasks.
The future will see more robots installed in warehouses. This will require the development of better and more intelligent systems to manage the integration between robots and human workers.
Before introducing robot workers, a well-organised warehouse needs an efficient warehouse shelving systems Talk to Greenoaks about designing your warehouse system ready for the robots’ arrival.