Bruce Welty talks to Colliers about Locus Robotics’ innovative approach to eCommerce fulfillment and the fast-growing 3PL and technology community developing in Boston and across the Northeast U.S.
“By definition, if you improve workers’ productivity, you’re affecting the labor base,” says Bruce Welty, chairman of Locus Robotics, a Wilmington startup that builds robots to transport items in warehouses. “We could get to full employment if we just got rid of all the bulldozers and backhoes, but I’m not sure we want to do… Read more »
“We decided that with our robot solution you’d make it so you didn’t have to disrupt anything at all,” Locus founder and chairman Bruce Welty says. “All you have to do is put this little sticker—we call it a locus point—basically a barcode you want anywhere you want the robot to be able to navigate.”
“Because of changes in the supply chain due to e-commerce and the need to ship massive amounts of single items in large quantities, we expect labor shortages to continue, and there is a huge demand for robots,” said Bruce Welty, chairman of Quiet Logistics Inc. and Locus Robotics Corp.
Bruce Welty, chairman of Quiet Logistics, wants to change how retailers and DCs cope with the chaos of the holiday buying season. For an LSP servicing fashion and apparel brands, Bruce envisions a more flexible and affordable type of robot.
The rise of robotics is one of the fastest-growing trends in logistics, but how exactly will all these new bots fit into the typical DC? Read more about the rise of robotics in the latest DC Velocity article that features Bruce Welty, Chairman and Founder of Locus Robotics.
Welty has seen a tremendous increase in productivity: The company is five times more productive than when it didn’t use robots. He expects a payback on the investment in 18 months. “In the world of warehousing, any investment that has a payback in fewer than three years is considered a big win,” he said.
Bruce Welty never wanted to build robots; Amazon.com made him do it. Starting in the 1970s, Welty, 60, specialized in software for managing warehouses. In 2009, he shifted gears and founded Quiet Logistics, a company that used robots from Kiva Systems of North Reading to dramatically reduce warehouse operating costs. But three years later, retailing… Read more »
“Locus is unique in that it works with and complements existing warehouse infrastructure. This dramatically reduces the overall investment required to deploy our solution.”
The Locus bot tells a worker exactly where an item is, and all they have to do is give it to them. It then knows to bring it back to another area for packaging. The best part is that they are able to see and avoid people and other objects in their way.
Robots are taking over stores and warehouses. They’ll greet you at the hardware store, and help you find a nail. Or they’ll grab your goods off the shelf at a distribution center and perhaps put it on a drone to your door.
Locus Robotics as a next-generation alternative to Kiva’s now rapidly obsolescing and hard-to-maintain solution.
Locus’ robot is designed to work collaboratively with humans to fill orders in a warehouse. Humans workers are assigned to patrol warehouse zones, and when they see a robot waiting, the worker reads the item that it needs off the screen, picks it, and moves on.
Special thanks to Modern Materials Handling for providing us with a sharable snippet. This 8-pager grants a look into their May 2016 issue which was the third in a series of three System Reports that look at the emergence of robotics in warehousing and distribution.
“Warehouses are very high tech places,” said Bruce Welty, co-founder and chairman of Locus Robotics, a firm that’s developed bots to work alongside, rather than replace, human workers. “Because the only way you can take costs out is automation.”
“Industries centered on repetitive tasks are already being transformed.” This clip offers a peek into a warehouse using Locus robots. Locus founder Bruce Welty talks about how the robots work side by side with workers and explores the questions that arise in an era of such technological progress.
Locus Robotics also offer mobile robots for the warehouse. Watch the Locus bot in action here.
This award recognizes an innovative technology that has had a significant impact on the company, customer and/or market in the category of robotics, including: sensors, manipulators, and systems. Click though to learn more about MassTLC technology leadership awards.
Locus Robotics offers mobile autonomous robots that can go anywhere in the warehouse. “The collaboration between robot and worker dramatically improves efficiency. The associate completes the pick faster and is thereby able to complete more pick requests. With our robots, workers are able to pick faster and more productively than with traditional manual picking.”
Locus robots work well in warehouses with a wide variety of stock keeping units (SKUs) that are picked in eaches – in other words e-commerce warehouses. These floor level associates often walk 12 to 15 miles per day. What used to require 8 hours of work, can now be done in less than an hour.
The more agile and responsive robots become, the more useful they are in environments where they need to interact with human workers. As well, in a distribution center environment, where the majority of tasks are repetitive, simple and often physically demanding, the advantages of a tireless worker who won’t get bored are clear to see.
Warehouse Robotics: Locus Robotics, a Massachusetts based start-up, recently put their product on the market and it is being used within its sister company’s (Quiet Logistics) fulfillment operations. Associates scan, then place items into totes placed upon and transported by the robots.
Automated shopping carts may be a gimmick, but stores and warehouses are rapidly being transformed by automation.
Warehouses have also started to use robots connected to the Internet to transport goods. Citi estimates that Amazon has 30,000 robots in use in 13 warehouses. And the new e-commerce robotics company, Locus Robotics, is deployed by Quiet Logistics, the third-party logistics provider for major fashion brands including Zara and Bonobos.
Inbound Logistics roundup of leading warehouse robots. This excerpt was made possible in cooperation with Brandstyle Communications and Inbound Logistics.
Warehouse automation vendor Locus Robotics Inc. named tech-industry veteran Rick Faulk as CEO on Wednesday, replacing co-founder Bruce Welty.
Technology Veteran Rick Faulk Joins Locus Robotics Funding Will Further Accelerate Growth and Development
“No one had really used mobile robotics like this before,” says Welty. “You don’t disrupt by taking incremental steps,” Welty adds.
How does your robot fit into the big picture? How can roboticists and potential customers work together given the current cost and performance limitations of robotics toward accelerating their adoption in the workplace?
Advances in software and hardware, spurred on by economic trends, new customer demands and a persistent labor shortage, are transforming the way in which goods are handled within distribution centers.
Humans continue to handle the manual selection of items in the picking zones, but the [Locus] robot eliminates much of the travel between pick areas and docks. Furthermore, features of the robot are designed to make the order pickers’ job easy and relatively foolproof.
Locus Robotics, a Massachusetts-based company founded specifically in answer to the Kiva situation by a Kiva-using DC owner, uses a fleet of robots integrated into current warehouse management systems to provide robotic platforms to carry picked items to a conveyor or to the packing station thereby reducing human walking distances and improving overall picking efficiencies.
The picker in effect meets the robot at a pick location, sees the pick on an iPad screen, and after the pick the robot either goes to packing or the next pick for the order. Huge traffic at the booth.
“With one piece of hardware you can literally walk into an existing facility and deploy several of them as a pilot in days or weeks, instead of months”
In other words, Kiva-like solutions in a post-Amazon world. Soon you may have some options for same-day boxer-briefs.
“This will be Locus Robotics’ first public event,” said CEO and co-founder Bruce Welty. “We look forward to demonstrating to attendees how our innovations dramatically and simply increase productivity without sacrificing operational flexibility.”
The petite Locus robots are expected to increase warehouse productivity by 800%. “We developed a system where the robots do all the walking,” Locus Robotics CEO Bruce Welty told Tech Insider.
“The technology has evolved significantly since Kiva was conceived and developed. These advancements allow us to build a solution that would have been virtually impossible to produce and justify a decade ago.”
You’ll learn that and more in the video, excerpted from this week’s Supply Chain Video News from the Supply Chain Television Channel.
Robotics Business Review received nominations from companies in over 11 countries, ranging from large conglomerates to lesser-known startups. The 2016 RBR50 represents the most dynamic robotics companies that are indicative of where the global robotics industry is headed.
One company that’s hoping to fill in the gap is Locus Robotics, which was actually spun out of Quiet Logistics, a Kiva customer.
“We developed a system where the robots do all the walking,” Locus Robotics CEO Bruce Welty tells Tech Insider. “As retailers continue to exceed expectation around next-day shipping, they’re going to look to technology to help them provide an even faster turn-around.”
Locus CEO and cofounder Bruce Welty says the best way to think about the LocusBot is that it’s like having taxis or an Uber, as opposed to an inflexible subway system, to get from one point to another.
These emerging robotics systems are being developed by a number of start-up firms and established warehouse automation providers.
Multi Bot Solution to Drive Increased Throughput for eCommerce Fulfillment Innovator Quiet Logistics.
“When Amazon bought Kiva, it became clear to us that we needed to find an alternative,” said Al Dekin, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Andover-based Locus Robotics.
Nearly all of them have founders that’ve already had major success elsewhere in the Boston tech community.
More than anything else, warehouse work is lots of walking. The idea is for robots to do the walking—er, rolling—instead.
Locus Bots currently roam the floors at one of Quiet Logistics’s warehouses, and they’re trimming down the time employees spend carrying goods from shelves to shipping areas.
Press Release: Locus Robotics Announces First Deployment of New Robotic Warehouse Fulfillment System
Locus Robotics today announces the first deployment of its new multi robot warehouse fulfillment system.