TORU, The Worlds First Intelligent Warehouse Robot

TORU, The Worlds First Intelligent Warehouse Robot

PUMA, the worldwide manufacturer of athletic and casual footwear, has launched the world’s first intelligent, decision-making warehouse robot. Together with robotics firm Magazino, software provider Gigaton and logistics specialist ITG they have produced TORU, which is a robot intended to revolutionise the warehouses of the future.

When it was first launched, TORU could pick up different single objects from the size of a small paperback book to something as large as a heavy dictionary. It could place them in specific places, either on the shelves of the warehouse or by taking them to the shipping station.

Thanks to the use of cameras, computer vision, numerous sensors and artificial intelligence, TORU is a perception-controlled robot. This not only allows the robot to work alongside people, but it can do jobs independently as well.

Warehouse robots

Collecting Data

This robot constantly collects data through its sensors, which make integration between man and machine much easier. If TORU senses a human moving close by it will slow down its speed and stop all movements. It has been inspected by the German Employers Liability Insurance Association to check that it complies with health and safety rules.

One of the biggest benefits of this robot is that it can work on its own outside of normal working hours. It does not need any lighting, heating or air conditioning, and it can be deployed to other areas of the complex with extra expense. It does have headlights that illuminate the way in the dark if need be.

So are robotic warehouses the way to go for the future? As warehouses are one of the most dangerous places for humans to work, there are a lot of people that are hoping so.

Expanding The Use Of Toru

Although TORU started out at PUMA, the services of the ‘picking robot’ are now being used elsewhere as well. Some of the largest warehouses are now using this technology produced by Magazino, as Toru automates the specific picking and placing of items. Its lifting capabilities have been increased. It now has a shelf to place larger objects on to move them to wherever they have to go.

Locusbots 

TORU is not the only warehouse specific robot. Locus Robotics have produced the Locusbots, which they say will transform any warehouse. It is very user friendly, and can work alongside the rest of the workforce.

The idea is to optimize warehouse operations, so that workers are able to fulfil more orders with less labour. This gives the warehouse owners more chance to control their payroll, particularly at peak times such as Christmas.

With these robots becoming so advanced, there will soon be uses for them other than in warehouses. Anywhere that needs things picking and moving they could be invaluable for, such as putting stock on the shelves of supermarkets, or moving books to where they should be in a library.

Like all technology they will continue to evolve, and as they do so they we become more indispensable.

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