Faster, taller, denser, more profitable warehouse robots and Interview with the CEO

Exotec Solutions, a French AI robotics startup, today announced the launch of the Skypod Robots and associated system. Cdiscount, the top French e-commerce vendor, is now using Skypods to prepare orders in its warehouse near Bordeaux, increasing their order processing speed by x4. With the system, Cdiscount is able to handle 400 picks per hour compared to the industry average of 200 picks per hour (with classical automation), and 100 picks per hour manually.

Compared to shelf-mover robots, used by e-commerce major vendors, the Skypod sets a new standard by moving 4 times faster and 5 times higher.

You can see why this matters in the pictures and video below. Going higher means you can store and access more goods in your warehouse. Being faster means fewer people can be more productive with the help of faster robots. Both contribute to boost the profitability and revenue of your warehouse.

The Skypod system is the first order preparation system in the world to use 3D mobile robots. Capable of movement in 3 dimensions at a speed of 10 mph, the robots transfer goods in the warehouse to human operators who arrange the products to be packed and shipped to customers. Laser scanner navigation allows the robots to travel anywhere in the storage area carrying 60+ pound bins.

“E-commerce is changing the game in the logistics industry. To respond to today’s market requirements, companies are putting the emphasis on deployment speed and flexible deployment capability rather than heavy fixed infrastructure in order to best respond to rapid fluctuations in demand. The Skypod addresses the needs of a new generation of customers who are looking for high performance and high density systems that can be modified every 2 years,” says Romain Moulin, CEO of Exotec Solutions.

The logistics industry is valued at $10.5 trillion globally and is projected to reach $15.5 trillion by 2023. Within this market, e-commerce logistics is predicted to grow 23% in 2017. Modern logistics face the dual challenge of performance and agility in a fast moving market, while ensuring the preparation of thousands of orders per day, for same-day delivery.

“From inception, the system has been designed to ensure fast deployment and full scalability. Skypod’s free navigation allows the robots to travel anywhere within the system, something the competition can’t offer today. The system’s software is powered by the latest artificial intelligence, allowing us to deploy on site within days instead of weeks,” says Renaud Heitz, CTO and cofounder.

In December 2016, Exotec raised $3.5million from 360 Capital Partners and Breega Capital.

Nextbigfuture Interview with CEO Romain Moulin

Romain learnt logistics at BA systems offers department before becoming BA CTO. Enthralled by robotics, he pursued his career at GE Healthcare, implementing innovative features for medical robots. He has 11 years work experience and master degree from Supaero university.

Question – can the Exotec robot perform more picks than the competition ?

The robots can actually enable 600-800 picks per hour which is beyond the top current systems can perform at 600 picks per hour. However, the people who have to receive and verify the selection can only handle 400 picks per hour.

Question – what percentage of warehouse goods can the robots handle

The robots are
DIMENSIONS 660 X 800 X 380MM

They can handle 90% of the goods in warehouses.

They are lighter and faster than the competition.

What technology is used

They use lithium ion batteries and LIDAR.