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Logistics automation becoming ‘more viable’ after Covid

The growing emergence of flexible, intelligent robots is finally making automation in logistics viable, Pi Labs has said after investing an undisclosed amount in Europe’s largest robotics marketplace platform.

Berlin-based WAKU Robotics uses AI-powered software to help customers determine what robots are best suited to different types of logistics workplaces.

The platform has almost 200 mobile robots from about 190 manufacturers and, WAKU said, is the first of its kind to guide customers through the fragmented robotics market.

Another function the platform has is something called WAKU Sense, which monitors the performance of robot fleets in real time to ensure maximum performance and to automate the operation of robots.

Waku Lots Of Bots

Faisal Butt, CEO and founder of Pi Labs, said: “In the past, the benefits of automation were limited because of the high cost of the technology, the considerable time required to implement it and the fact that each machine could perform only one function.

“Today, though, the emergence of more flexible, intelligent robots is making it more viable.”

Throughout the pandemic, WAKU said it saw a growth in interest and investment in robots as customers looked for reliability and a competitive edge.

Having secured funding from the UK, Germany and Silicon Valley, WAKU is tapping into tech advancements that will lead to a predicted 20m warehouse jobs being done by robots in 2030.

WAKU will use the capital invested by Pi Labs and others to set up development partnerships with market leaders in the warehousing and manufacturing sectors.

Sander Nijssen, co-CEO of WAKU Robotics, said: “What we noticed during Covid is that the interest in robots and proof of concepts on-site accelerated during this time.

“Clients who are procuring mobile robots noticed that robots bring more reliability to their operations, and warehouse and logistics managers also understand that investing in mobile robots will help achieve a real competitive advantage.”

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