Lucas and Fetch combine to automate warehouses

  • August 9, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Pennsylvania-based Lucas Systems and Silicon Valley firm Fetch Robotics are working together to optimise collaboration between warehouse workers and robots.

Lucas provides voice and warehouse optimisation software for fulfilment and distribution centres. The partnership with Fetch Robotics aims to enable the next generation of smart warehouses. Lucas and Fetch will offer tailored offerings to orchestrate and optimise how warehouse workers interact with Fetch’s autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).

Fulfilment and distribution centres are under pressure due to growth in ecommerce combined with a shrinking labour market. Lucas executives say its clients need help increasing throughput and maintaining high worker productivity while meeting accuracy and more stringent customer delivery requirements.

These market pressures have led to rethinking old models and focusing on new, innovative ways to improve distribution centre performance.

“The combination of Lucas’ AI-based warehouse optimisation software and Fetch’s broad portfolio of AMRs enables optimised order, batch, case and pallet picking in distribution centres and automates virtually any manual material movement in a facility,” said Stefan Nusser, chief product officer at Fetch Robotics. “This enables our joint customers to increase picking efficiency, reduce cycle times and reduce the impact of labour shortages.”

Ken Ramoutar, chief marketing officer at Lucas Systems, added: “The future environment of warehouses and distribution centres will be a mix of people, robots, machines and systems all working together. The precise orchestration of all the pieces will be key to achieving a competitive advantage in performance. That intersection of how people and robots work together is a hugely important and often overlooked part of the warehouse automation equation, but it’s where a lot of the unseen value exists.”

The combinations from Fetch and Lucas will materially redistribute the division of labour in the warehouse. Robots will manage tasks best suited for machines, and this will free up warehouse workers to focus on higher-valued work. In an AMR-supported picking workflow orchestrated by Lucas, for example, a worker can avoid a lot of unnecessary walking by picking items to a tote on a Fetch AMR, directing the AMR to a conveyor system to unload, and then triggering another robot to move into place for the worker to continue picking.

Lucas Systems technologies helps companies transform their distribution centre operations and continuously adapt to changing market dynamics. It helps increase worker productivity, operational agility and customer satisfaction using voice and AI optimisation technologies.

Fetch Robotics is an intralogistics automation company headquartered in Silicon Valley. By combining autonomous mobile robotics with the power of the cloud, its platform provides on-demand automation for material handling and inventory management, with the power to find, track and move almost anything in any facility.