Labor shortages and the demand for significantly improved productivity are driving the paradigm switch occurring in the logistics industry from using people to using robots in large quantities. The sweet spot of the market is with adaptable, relatively lightweight but robust mobile arms that can lift boxes and other items up to 45 kg and move them to customized pallets.
Black-I Robotics’ patented Fullscope Mobile Arm leads the industry. While most Arms can lift only 5-10 kg boxes, our Arm can easily lift four times as much. We can add multiple cameras and various IR and sonar sensors to the computer-controlled system, which in keeping with its adaptability, can be mounted or dismounted from a vehicle literally in minutes. This means that it can be mounted on a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles, including trucks, backhoes and fork lifts.
Giant distribution centers run by the likes of Walmart and Amazon employing hundreds of thousands of workers get lots of attention. However, they pale compared to the total number of warehouses, manufacturing plants, e-commerce stations, cold storage units and similar centers that exist in literally every city in every country around the globe. These businesses increasingly are looking for robots to do the work.
It’s estimated that by 2025 more than 4 million commercial robots, with intelligent arms like Blacki’s Fullscope Mobile Arm, will be installed at more than 50,000 warehouses compared to fewer than 4,000 in warehouses in 2018.
Robots and their intelligent arms dramatically drive down labor costs and, by increasing accuracy over millions of transactions, efficiency. Robots are perfect for repetitive tasks, which in a distribution center means moving pallets, boxes, cartons, etc. And they do it right the first time.
Our robots and Arms have been designed by the best in the business. We work closely with leading universities that have specialities in robotics and Artificial Intelligence such as Northeastern, Worcester Polytech, University of Massachusetts at Lowell and others. We are constantly improving our products. We’re on iteration nine of the Fullscope Mobile Arm, for example. In the last year alone, we have reduced its weight by 100 pounds, enhanced reliability and introduced new capabilities. Our commitment to constant improvement is one of our core values.
The opportunity for enormous productivity gains using robotic systems is obvious. In the past however, there wasn’t the dramatic price differential between labor and technology. Today, with the capabilities of robotic systems greatly enhanced and prices stable, and labor scarcity and costs increasing substantially, the choice is easy. Robots pay for themselves. Fast.