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USPS has released revenue figures for the second quarter of 2018, which revealed the postal operator's shipping and packages revenue grew by US$445m or 9.5% (read more here). But how many more parcels did the operator handle between January 1 and March 31, 2018?

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Proof of concept unveiled for autonomous robotic sorting solution

Prime Vision and Unmanned Life have presented a live demonstration of their innovative autonomous sorting solution, which only uses robotic unmanned vehicles (UVs), to an invited audience at an empty warehouse in Zoetermeer in the Netherlands.

The autonomous solution applies the latest robotics technology to create an army of “rovers” that behave similarly to worker bees. Swarming algorithms determine the actions of these bees enabling them to identify, assess, sort and physically transport items to their dispatch location.

The ‘pop-up’ sorting center can be deployed in any building in less than a day, and can be scaled up or down as required. The UVs require no other equipment to operate and are safe to work alongside human workers.

Eddy Thans, CEO, Prime Vision, said, “It is clear that robotics offers great potential to the logistics industry. The concept Prime Vision and Unmanned Live have developed and shown today, is incredibly convincing and outlines the future for robotics in our industry.

“I truly believe that autonomous sorting can alleviate the challenges resulting from the fast-growing parcel volumes created by e-commerce. The flexibility and scalability of autonomous sorting is unrivalled and clearly demonstrates the ease with which postal companies can scale up or down to meet the seasonal demands without the need for large investment.”

Kumardev Chatterjee, CEO of Unmanned Life, the world’s first AI driven software platform for managing autonomous drone fleets for commercial use, added, “We believe it will be a game-changer for postal and express-parcel carriers alike. We like to describe it as sorting without a sorter.”

Whether seasonal demand, a temporary location, or an excessive workload, the system can be easily deployed to bring a rapid, flexible solution to any short-term problem and is robust enough to become the backbone of smaller logistics centers. Once in place, the solution can run specific hours or 24/7 with the capability to operate a throughput up to initially 15,000 parcels per hour.

The autonomous solution is highly competitive as it lowers CAPEX and OPEX significantly ensuring that there are no barriers to adoption by postal companies looking to integrate a more scalable and flexible sorting strategy. In addition, rovers can rapidly and accurately perform the sorting at a lower cost (per sorted unit) than the current industry standard.

Over the coming months Prime Vision and Unmanned Life plan to demonstrate further advancements in the development of the system including a robotic arm that can perform autonomous pick-up and place of parcels.

July 14, 2017

Written by Daniel Symonds


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