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The Rise Of The Sorting Robots

By FedEx | March 15, 2022

As e-commerce explodes, logistics is turning to tech, big data and automation to meet demand – which is where intelligent sorting robots come in.

Ever seen an army of warehousing robots at work? From selection and sorting to loading, robots are increasingly being adopted to automate repetitive, high-volume tasks in warehouses, factories and stock rooms. Elsewhere, waste solution jobs like sorting through rubbish and recycling – messy, difficult or potentially dangerous work for humans – can be taken on by robots too.

Robotics on a global scale

So where are these robots seeing the most action – and what industries are powering adoption fastest? Together, the automotive, aviation and logistics industry are driving the greatest order volumes to service manufacturing and supply chain.

Asia Pacific is sprinting ahead in the robotics race. Japan is the world’s biggest exporter of robots globally. South Korea is a leading player in industrial robots as the country sets sights on being among the top four in the world in the robotics market. Singapore ranks second after Korea in terms of industrial robot density. And as the world’s largest e-commerce market, China is striding ahead in robot adoption for the logistics sector. China also experiences huge seasonal peaks, such as Double 11 and Spring Festival, when manpower might be low. Sorting robots are helping to transform the entire logistics industry with a truly intelligent supply chain system.

In such a fast-moving market, new and innovative solutions will help players keep up with demand and drive growth.
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And as the world’s largest e-commerce market, China is also striding ahead in robot adoption for the logistics sector. In such a fast-moving market, new and innovative solutions are needed all the time to help players keep up with demand and drive growth. China also experiences huge seasonal peaks, such as Double 11 and Spring Festival, when manpower might be low. Sorting robots are helping to transform the entire logistics industry with a truly intelligent supply chain system.

Our sorting robot solution for China

We’ve introduced a first-of-its-kind intelligence sorting robot for FedEx in China. The robot represents our smart logistics vision for not only China, but for the entire Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. The sorting robot reduces need for a manual sorting process – improving accuracy and speed.
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So, what exactly does the robot do? Check out our top 5 sorting bot facts below – and a video direct from the sorting center:

  • The sorting robot is powered by AI and sorts based on two things – shipping categories and destinations

  • At approximately 40m2, the robot can cover up to 100 destinations simultaneously

  • The bot can sort small packages of up to 10kg

  • High sorting speeds means it can quickly sort perishable items, such as fruit

  • Equipped with a barcode reader, the bot scans packages to obtain destination information, then moves the package from the conveyor belt to the correct destination slot
Delivering the future

Automating logistics using intelligent robots represents our latest push to digitize operations. We’re building a smart logistics network for our customers globally to handle ever-growing volumes of e-commerce shipments in APAC and beyond.

So what’s the future of robots in logistics? Automation tech, powered by ongoing feats in big data and machine learning, are transforming logistics. And let’s not forget about delivery.
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Alongside drones, robots are one of the key future tech solutions to meet the last-mile delivery challenge. We’ve developed our own autonomous, AI-powered delivery bot, Roxo, to meet this very challenge and help combat congestion and emissions in urban areas. Roxo™, the FedEx SameDay Bot is just one of the ways we plan to enhance the future of delivery for customers and communities everywhere.

So, watch this space! As cities and deliveries get smarter, robots will become more tightly knitted into the fabric of our communities.

For more tech and innovation trends and insights, head here.
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