As major retailers and third-party logistics providers continue to hire tens of thousands of people, they are also looking for ways to retain and augment that workforce. Last week, 6 River Systems Inc. noted that its Chuck mobile robot was recognized with two Red Dot product design awards.
“These awards are recognition of what we’ve known all along,” stated Chris Cacioppo, chief technology officer at 6 River Systems. “Chuck is not only the best collaborative robot for fulfillment operations; it’s [also] an integral part of an industry-changing, cloud-based, wall-to-wall fulfillment solution that empowers warehouses to solve some of their greatest challenges.”
Waltham, Mass.-based 6 River Systems was founded in 2015 by Jerome Dubois and Ryan Hamilton, who were previously executives at Kiva Systems (now Amazon Robotics). The company’s systems are now operating in more than 20 facilities in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Its customers include Lockheed Martin, DHL, XPO Logistics, and Office Depot.
6 River Systems, which was a 2019 RBR50 company, was acquired by Shopify Inc. last September for $450 million.
Chuck uses AI to help warehouse workers
Chuck uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help warehouse associates work faster, said 6 River Systems. The collaborative mobile robot leads associates through their work zones to help them minimize walking, stay on task, and work more efficiently, according to the company.
Chuck can be used in all put-away, picking, counting, replenishment and sorting tasks without the need for changes to an operation’s infrastructure. It is configurable up to six levels to accommodate three times the workspace and twice the weight of any competitive offering, claimed the company.
6 Rivers‘ team of engineers, programmers, and partners designed Chuck to resemble other tools used in everyday life. The robot’s directional lights resemble those of an automobile, and it uses familiar touch-screen controls, RF technology, and put-to-light cues. Chuck’s engaging design and easy-to-use interface are intended to enable new associates to reach performance standards quickly.
Red Dot is a major design competition
In 1955, a jury convened for the first time to assess the best designs, and with a total of more than 18,000 entries, the Red Dot Award has become one of thee world’s largest design competitions since 1990s. Previous winners include South Korea-based Doosan and Germany’s KUKA.
In 2020, designers and companies from 60 countries entered more than 6,500 products in the Red Dot competition across 49 categories.
Chuck won awards for Product Design in Robotics and in the Smart Product meta-category. The Red Dot Award for Product Design offers designers and manufacturers from all over the world a platform for assessing their products.
The Smart Product meta-category looked at entries across industries. Winning proves that a product “successfully achieves the complex interaction between humans and technology in the age of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things,” said the Red Dot organization.
“The winners of the Red Dot Award have proved that they have created excellent products worthy of winning an award,” said Prof. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot. “The products won over the jury, not only through their aesthetic, but also thanks to their incomparable functionality. With their designs, the award winners are setting new standards in their industry. I wish to congratulate them most sincerely on their success.”
On June 22, 2020, Chuck will be added to the exhibition “Design on Stage” in the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, Germany, with all of the award-winning products. From that date, 6 River Systems’ winning product will also be presented in the online exhibition on the Red Dot website. The Red Dot Design Yearbook 2020/2021 will be available in July 2020.
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