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Dexterity AI announced a collaboration with FedEx Corp to leverage AI-powered robotic technology to load boxes into trucks and trailers. Dexterity’s propriety mobile robot design, called DexR, navigates autonomously to the back of trailers and uses its two robotic arms to load boxes from a powered conveyor system into the truck.
Truck loading is one of the most challenging and labor-intensive tasks in parcel hubs. Manual loading of trailers is taxing, and previous technology approaches have not been able to handle the complex decision-making required to stack the wide range of shipments, like those encountered in the FedEx network. At FedEx, robotic systems need to be able to handle packages that vary in size, shape, weight, and packaging material.
“Our culture of innovation is driven by a desire to help our team members and customers succeed,” Rebecca Yeung, corporate vice president of Operations Science and Advanced Technologies for FedEx, said. “Based on feedback from our operations team, we have been looking for a solution that helps alleviate the challenges of truck loading. Collaborating with Dexterity AI to combine the latest in AI and robotics supports our operations team while meeting growing customer demand.”
When designing this system, Dexterity focused on the complexity of truck unloading and gave its mobile robots a suite of intelligence ranging from the ability to see, touch, think, and move quickly to pace trailers with stable, dense walls of randomized boxes. DexR’s unique two-arm design also enables the robot to pick and pack boxes simultaneously, improving throughput.
Dexterity’s AI platform uses a broad set of intelligence so it can be used to handle all of the complexities of truck loading required by FedEx’s operations. Some of the platform’s characteristics include generative wall planning, a sense of touch, machine learning-based pack improvement, and integrated motion planning.
“FedEx shares our belief that innovation should solve the most difficult tasks in operations,” Samir Menon, founder and CEO of Dexterity AI, said. “Our collaboration is driven by a vision of AI-powered robotics that is adaptable to our customer’s most pressing needs.”
The testing of the truck-loading technology is ongoing by FedEx, with a goal to refine the technology and deploy it commercially in the future.
In August, Dexterity unveiled the 3.0 release of its Palletizing and Depalletizing software (PDP), which is aimed at unlocking pallet operations in the warehouse. With a slate of new features aimed at improving throughput, reducing installation and integration time and cost, and increasing flexibility of performance, PDP 3.0 makes pallet loading and unloading effortless for third-party logistics providers, retailers, apparel manufacturers, and other material handlers.