Financial Data
Updated 24 May 2018

This is how robots can streamline your warehousing operations

Isn’t it time you incorporated mobile robots into your logistics processes to increase your efficiency and improve your company’s profitability? 

Nicole Crampton , 13 September 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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Imagine the chaos that would reign in your warehouse if your staff tried to move 78 kilograms worth of product at 2m per second, pandemonium, right?

But, you can avoid the collisions, sore backs and damaged goods strewn across your warehouse floor, with mobile robots like the ones developed by Fetch Robotics. These robots can work autonomously, freeing up your human capital for productivity in other areas of the business, to improve profitability and allowing you to improve the efficiency of your warehouse. 

Related: 5 Cutting-edge robots that could outperform your farmworkers


Fetch Robotics announced a solid mobile manipulator and speedy mobile base designed to automate logistics in warehouses. Technology group Wärtsilä and DHL have already successfully completed the pilot programme testing the robots in their daily operations.

Here is the future of warehousing and why you need to employ it into your logistics business:

The challenges of the current logistics industry

To remain profitable companies like Amazon have to have enormous warehouses with shelf after shelf and row after row of products. As a logistics business, when a customer orders something, one of your team needs to wonder between the mazes of goods looking for the right item. This can be an inefficient and unpleasant experience for your human workers. It also delays how quickly your customer will receive their item.

See DHL trial testing this technology here.

Larger logistics companies, like Amazon, already have robots, but these need special shelving and infrastructure to be effective, and then they still can’t pick goods off the shelves.

Have a look at what Amazon is doing here. Is this efficient when humans still need to select the items out of the shelves? Do you have the capital to invest in all this infrastructure?

The new and improved mobile manipulator

Fetch Robotics have created a large and capable mobile manipulator to collect items off the shelves of warehouses, and a mobile base that autonomously delivers the item to your personnel within the warehouse.

“The reason we’re doing two robots is because one of the big challenges in logistics is traversal of the warehouse. A mobile manipulator just can’t move as fast because it has a high centre of gravity, and so we need a smaller, faster robot to zip around the warehouse and get stuff done. Because at some point, we have to be as fast as people, or faster,” explains Melonee Wise, Fetch Robotics CEO.

You need both these robots, one to fetch items off the shelves and the other to quickly transport the item to a designated area or crew member.

Related: The rise of the R generation

How the robots work with your team to improve efficiency

Production -line -robot -automation

“The robots are designed to work alongside employees and to relieve them from physically strenuous tasks. The robots alone took over a walking distance of more than 30 kilometres per day, thereby increasing productivity and safety within the warehouse working environment,” says Denis Niezgoda, robotics accelerator lead, DHL Customer Solutions and Innovation.

Instead of physically fetching the item, your human staff can use the user-friendly electronic system to control, guide and organise the robots, what they need to collect and where they will deliver to. This is the future of logistics, ensure your business remains competitive and profitable.

You can watch the video of the robots at work here.


  • To improve profitability and efficiency your logistics business needs to implement mobile robots in your warehouses.
  • Fetch Robotics have created a mobile manipulator to collect items off the shelves, and a mobile base that autonomously delivers the item to your personnel within the warehouse.
  • These robots work in conjunction with your team and are designed to carry heavy items or loads, as well as deliver items autonomously depending on how your staff have programmed them.
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About the author

Nicole Crampton

Introducing the owner-driver responsibilities & risks

Bryan Verpoort, Head of Corporate & Business Insurance at Standard Bank advises smaller businesses on the risks and considerations when contracting to transport goods for a large company.

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