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January 16, 2019      

Locus Robotics, one of the leaders in the autonomous mobile robot (AMR) market for fulfillment warehouses, this week launched its Winter 2019 software and hardware suite. Code-named “Snowy Owl,” the release includes upgrades and enhancements to Locus’ robot hardware, navigation software, user experience, and management dashboards.

Locus Robotics Snowy Owl release

New enhancements to the Locus Robotics mobile robot include a blue safety light and emergency stop button moved to the top. Source: Locus Robotics

The company said new reports “will dramatically improve worker productivity, operational performance, and efficiency for retail/e-tail, third-party logistics (3PL), distribution, and industrial specialty customers.” The company displayed the new offerings at this week’s NRF Big Show in New York.

“We are thrilled to unveil the Winter 2019 Release, which features significant productivity-driving enhancements to our robotics hardware and software,” said Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics, in a statement.

Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics

Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics

“It is an exciting time for innovation in retail,” said Faulk. “Major brands and third-party logistics companies are turning to technology to maximize productivity in an increasingly competitive labor market. This new suite of software and hardware includes the most advanced and innovative suite of robotics capabilities on the market to date, and will ensure that our customers can meet the needs of their consumers and achieve the highest productivity gains possible.”

Gamification, new safety features

Features of the Snowy Owl release include:

  • Directed picking: Intuitive on-screen graphics direct warehouse workers to the next nearest pick location, which minimizes unproductive walking time and improve picking speeds.
  • Gamification: This feature helps motivate and inspire higher productivity through fun competition. Measured either individually or in teams, workers can see in real time how their individual performance compares to their peers, through leaderboards, rankings, and the ability to earn on-screen rewards.
  • Worker Performance Indicators: Each worker can graphically visualize their productivity level while working, in real time, to see performance goals. Locus said this is valuable when “pay-for-performance” incentives are being used at the warehouse.
  • Blue safety light: Robots now include a bright safety light that projects out of the front when in operation.
  • “Top-Off” Auto-charging: The Locus software can automatically recognize slow order times to send robots to a charging station to “top off”, ensuring that all robots are at their optimal charge states during peak operational periods.
  • Top-mounted E-stop button: The safety stop button is now mounted to the top of each robot’s mast, for easier access.
  • Electrical peripheral support: The robot’s vertical mast now includes an electrical harness that lets customers attach a printer or other peripheral device.
  • Management reporting: A new management portal gives detailed reporting to help optimize and manage operations. Personnel can review all robot and worker performance in real time, as well as historically. Real-time heat maps lets managers easily identify workflows to manage product slotting.
  • Congestion management system: Software can actively track and adjust robots’ travel paths through the warehouse to minimize traffic congestion, allowing for higher productivity and picking speed.

Locus said it also launched new seasonal pricing programs in order to make integrating the robotics system easier and more cost-effective during peak e-commerce seasons. For more details on the Snowy Owl release, visit the Locus Robotics website.