Fetch Robotics started in 2014 with four employees. Melonee Wise took the lead as CEO with the goal of bringing robotics to the warehouse and logistics industries. The company wanted to create a model where people and robots could work side by side. With the growth in the e-commerce world and demand for same-day delivery from consumers, the pressure on warehouses to deliver products faster was obvious. In the Spring of 2015, they developed two robots called Fetch and Freight.
Fetch has one arm and was sold to academic and research facilities; fifty have been sold to date worldwide. Fetch is used for data collection and material transportation and is an autonomous mobile robot (AMR.)
Needs of the Logistics Industry
The need for efficiency and hiring in logistic facilities and warehouses drives Fetch and Freight. There are nearly 600,000 unfilled logistics sector jobs. Warehouses who are forward-thinking are looking to robotics to help with some simple tasks they have and to support their staff. On-demand economy expectations from consumers and continued e-commerce growth require warehouses to move their inventory faster than ever. This is where Fetch's material handling can be of help.
Increasing throughout with automation can be expensive and takes time to set up and deploy. There is also the issue of training staff. Fetch has made it easier for the reconfiguration and set up of material-handling robots as well as their operation. AMRs are great for data collection in warehouses; misplaced or lost inventory can be very expensive.
Not only is the cost of the material a factor but the cost of personnel and freight expedition add to the expense. RFID-enable robots can track inventory in a predictable and fixed method which delivers reliable and consistent inventory data.
Common Fetch Robotics Concerns
Because robotics is a new concept for many in the industries, they are sometimes sold to people hesitant to work with them. Warehouses typically use forklifts and people to drive them. With Fetch, that task is no longer needed, and people can be utilized for high-level tasks that require human interaction.
What to Look for When Implementing Fetch Robotics
Warehouses should think about software simplicity and safety when implementing robotics into their businesses.
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Fetch has made their technology easy to set up and use.
Robots are a safer option than other transporting systems in use. On average, there are nearly 100 serious forklift accidents daily. Today, robots safely work alongside people.
Results Reported from Fetch Robotics Customers
Customers report they see a return on their investment with Fetch implementations. They are then passing the savings on to their customers. The return on their investment is because of the increase in productivity.
Fetch Robotics Partnering with Others
The use of AMRs in warehouses allow repetitive tasks such as surveying, pick and pack, and delivery to be done.
Why Are Partnerships Important?
Partnerships provide customers with local support and extend Fetch's sales reach. Partners also provide additional customization and integration that allow the robots to fit into existing workflows seamlessly.
Fetch Robotics Robotic Platforms for Research
Freight Mobile Robot Base and Fetch Mobile Manipulator offer researchers a common robotics platform worldwide to share and collaborate research. These platforms were designed to work with the Robot Operating Systems (ROS) for the best common familiarity and usability.
Freight Mobile Robot Base
These enable corporate innovation centers and researchers to develop mobile robotic technologies.
Fetch Mobile Manipulator
Designed to work in typical human work environments, it provides mobile manipulation research on a fully integrated standard platform at an affordable cost.
Fetch Robotics Automated Data Collection
Using the Fetch Robotics DataSurvey line of AMRs is more cost-effective, consistent, and precise. It ensures that operations personnel can automate data collection 24/7 and show inventory at any moment in even the most densely packed distribution centers, factories, and warehouses.
RFID tracking AMRs reduce inventory loss and automate cycle counting by tracking, locating, and collecting RFID tags on bins and products in factories and warehouses. It can complement existing RFID strategies and systems and automate data collection solutions. Detailed maps within FetchCore allow RFID tags and locations to be visualized. You can search for a specific RFID tag and show the exact location in even the largest of manufacturing environments and warehouses. This prevents lost productivity and unnecessary searches.
Fetch Robotics Automated Material Transport
Material transportation and handling play a large role in the success of logistics. AMRs, or Autonomous Mobile Robots, help with the workflow of corporations. They can move anything from pallets to parts in warehouses, distribution centers, and factories. They can work alongside other material-handling equipment, forklifts, and people.
Fetch Robotics VirtualConveyor solutions allow warehouse workers to focus on higher-level tasks and improve productivity.
These autonomous transports are for totes, bins, and packages. They are fully configurable and customizable. They can transport a variety of sizes. Simple to operate, they use integrated touchscreens that require very little training. They can quickly increase productivity and efficiency soon after deployment.
The benefits are numerous. Fetch Robotics uses obstacle avoidance to create collaborative and safe operation around forklifts, other material-handling equipment, and people. Integration is not required, but a full set of SDKs and APIs are available. Also, robots get to work in a matter of hours
These systems bring increased levels of automation and adaptability to conveyor environments. They are quickly deployed and deliver autonomous conveyor-to-conveyor transport. They can extend existing systems to deposit or receive materials enabling coordination of handoffs. Interactions are precise and repeatable. Rollertop systems are also safe around forklifts and people.
This autonomously picks up and drops off FetchCarts anywhere within a facility that has material-handling requirements. The multi-sensored CartConnect can efficiently and safely navigate between locations. It can work safely with other material-handling equipment, forklifts, and people. CartConnect can transport materials at a speed of up to 1.4 meters a second.
CartConnect features a host of technical safety features that allow for safe navigation inside facilities. This is done with 2D and 3D camera integration, floor-illuminating blue light, turn-in-place functionality, occlusion detection, and dynamic obstacle avoidance.
Travel time accounts for over 50 percent of warehouse work assignments. In large distribution centers, a worker can walk up to a mile a day. CartConnect creates a virtual conveyor adaptable for moving material. CartConnect stops wasted movement in picking, replenishment, put away, and many other manufacturing and warehouse workflows.
CartConnect customers have seen productivity double in lines after only two weeks of operation.
These are used with CartConnect; they can be used as ordinary carts or autonomously transported by CartConnect AMRs. They demonstrate flexibility in manufacturing and warehouse environments and maximize efficiency. The middle shelf is adjustable. It can handle payloads of up to 150 pounds.
Using any web-enabled device, you can request a pickup and drop off location. The closest CartConnect will automatically go to the pickup location, dock with the FetchCart, and transport it to the area you have selected for drop-off. CartConnect will automatically detach from FetchCart and is ready for its next task.
Carts are an important mode of transportation for materials used in a variety of tasks in industrial settings. Automated material handling collaborates seamlessly with Fetchcart, CartConnect, and personnel and will eliminate fatigue and unnecessary travel time while increasing productivity.
Freight500 and Freight1500
These robots transport heavier palletized workloads and cases. They operate safely around warehouse vehicles and personnel even though they are large. Designed for payloads up to 1,100 pounds, the Freight500 is 40 inches wide and can maneuver through tight spaces. It is safe around forklifts and people. The Freight1500 is designed to transport payloads up to 3,300 pounds.
FetchCore Cloud Robotics
FetchCore is the cloud robotic software used to deploy, operate, and optimize the entire line of AMRs for data collection and material handling. Monitoring and managing CartConnect and Fetch Robotics across manufacturing environments and multiple warehouses can be accomplished with FetchCore.
How Has Fetch and Freight Evolved the Logistics Industry?
Today, robots are streamlining operations down to the SKU level. Moving inventory in and out of warehouses in less time requires a great deal of efficiency. Warehouse workers are working alongside robots and doing less forklift work and more high-level thinking. Making safe, efficient, and simple-to-use robots help companies with this transformation.
With the way e-commerce has evolved, there are many opportunities for a robotics company like Fetch Robotics to assist businesses with the growing demands they have to keep track of inventory and to move it in and out quickly. Freeing personnel from repetitive tasks with robotics will no doubt improve efficiency and productivity while allowing people to do more high-level tasks that are best done by people. This company is paving the way for a future where humans and robots can work beside one another.