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Multi-tier cobots for Milton Keynes warehouse

14 December 2021

GXO LOGISTICS is said to have achieved an industry first by deploying 6 River Systems (6RS) collaborative robots, or cobots, on multiple mezzanine floors in one of its distribution centres in Milton Keynes, England.

“This multi-tiered installation is groundbreaking for us and a first in our industry,” said Gavin Williams, managing director, GXO UK and Ireland. “The solution illustrates our significant investment in technology that helps us improve productivity for our customers and safety for our colleagues while optimising vertical warehouse space in Europe.” 

GXO collaborated with 6RS to develop and test new features on the cobots, which automatically travel from one location to another carrying picked items, reducing employees’ walk time and helping them pick items from inventory more efficiently. At another GXO site in Stoke-on-Trent, the cobots, which are called “Chucks,” have enhanced picking accuracy by 40% and reduced new employee training time by 80% since being deployed.

As part of its accelerating investments in technology and automation, GXO more than tripled its cobot count year-on-year in the quarter ending September 30, 2021. By using Chucks and other innovative warehouse solutions, GXO achieves significant improvements in pick rates, accuracy and employee satisfaction.