Re-Inventing the Warehouse Using Mobile Robots: Disruptive Technology Change and Challenges in Planning and Optimization

Monday, February 23, 2015 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Keller 3-180
Larry Sweet (Symbotic)
There has been a dramatic increase in investment by both venture capital and strategic investors in new robotics technologies for distribution center automation. Driving these investments is rapid expansion in the number of products (or SKU’s) that flow through supply chains to both retail stores and e-commerce. Traditional automation and manual solutions face challenges in capital, operating, and transportation costs. New systems based on large fleets of high speed, coordinated mobile robots offer an emerging, game changing technology. This presentation will cover principles of operation and benefits demonstrated for systems in several vertical market segments. The presentation will highlight challenging problems in planning, scheduling, control, and optimization that are important to achieving full potential benefits.