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Robotics trends for 2024: What’s the impact on logistics?

Robotics trends for 2024: What’s the impact on logistics?
Robotics trends for 2024: What’s the impact on logistics?

In an era where customers demand faster and more efficient deliveries, the logistics sector is turning to robotics to make sure operations run well and enhance productivity. 

StartUs Insights has released a list of ten robotics trends for 2024 based on over 8,000 technology companies. The study looked at trends around intelligent robotic systems, robots as a service, and autonomous robots. 

This week Locate2u reported on a water-powered Clone hand that can carry seven times its own weight. It’s a realistic musculoskeletal hand with muscles and valves. The arm has been useful in warehouses, where humans get tired or sustain injuries. 

ALSO READ: Water-powered robot arm Clone to change warehouse productivity

Influence on logistics and supply chain

The untapped opportunities these robotic trends are delivering to the logistics and supply chain sectors have the potential to turn warehouse operations into safe, sustainable, and sufficient zones. 

The report points out that cobots (collaborative robots) work alongside human operators, which boosts manufacturing output and minimizes the extensive downtime humans need. 

It’s clear Robotics as a Service (RaaS) could be a game-changer for businesses. It “offers flexibility to scale operations” as the demand during only peak periods rises. 

At the same time, more fast-food restaurants and retail stores are exploring drone and other artificial intelligent (AI) deliveries. Think of Walmart, Target, Chick-fil-A, or Burger King. There seems to be a sector shift towards more autonomous, efficient, human-centric operations. 

Autonomous robotics

“Workers are exposed to hazardous situations such as toxic chemicals, tight spaces, or heavy machinery in production environments. To mitigate this, startups and scaleups utilize autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to automate various industrial processes,” reads the report. 

With the help of sensors, AI, and computer vision, robots can immediately navigate their surroundings. “Warehouse AMRs feature scanners to detect stock levels and automate material handling, preventing inventory depletion.”

To speed up operations inside warehouses, AMRs move parts over long distances inside factories to save workers from pushing heavy carts. “In the last-mile delivery sector, the report has found a rapid deployment increase for “contactless and quick deliveries.”

Case study

Looking at two examples where robotics are used to optimize output helps to understand where the technology is heading in the future. 

German startup Secreact has developed Capto. It’s an intelligent software solution for robotic picking. “It uses AI to optimize the picking of previously known items and also speeds up the picking of new items. The software continuously learns from operations to adapt the gripping performance of robots as per requirements,” explains the report.

Another example would be the Dutch startup Loop Robots, which developed SAM. It’s a smart robot used to automate hospital disinfection. “It autonomously navigates around the hospital facility to disinfect the air and surfaces in patient rooms. The robot reduces the use of chemical disinfectants and prevents hospital-acquired infections.”

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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