Autonomous mobile robots that are already at work for retailers including Walmart in the US and Uniqlo in Japan are set to become available in Europe for the first time. Chinese robotics company LiBiao is looking for distributors for the UK as well as Germany, Spain, France and Italy.
LiBiao Robot’s ‘mini yellow’ robots are billed as an alternative to conveyor-based sortation systems that have historically been used by parcel and ecommerce operations. They will come in two models for the European market, a 5kg tilt-tray robot and a 30kg cross-belt model, both with CE certification. The robots are controlled by software that LiBiao says is compatible with all popular European warehouse management systems to ensure that they travel down the best route within the warehouse setting. The modular system can also operate in cold store environments to a temperature of minus 30 degrees centigrade, with 350 ‘mini yellow’ robots said to be able to handle 20,000 items an hour over 1,300 square metres.
So far, says Hangzhou, China-based LiBiao, more than 10,000 of its autonomous mobile robots are in operation in China, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and the US, at sites including Walmart in the US, Uniqlo in Japan and the China Post in China.
Xia Huiling, founder and chief executive of LiBiao Robot, said: “Demand for more efficient and smarter warehouse management is strong in Europe, where online shopping has been growing at a tremendous pace and driving up the number of parcels handled, so we believe that the market will benefit from our advanced mobile robot technology.”