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How do warehouse operatives interact with robots?

Article by Megan Gee


There’s a lot of talk when it comes to the role that workers will play in an automated warehouse. Talk of improved working conditions, opportunities and overall improved efficiencies. But what does that really look like?

Day-to-day order picking operations

Here’s a walk through of what some warehouse operatives already do in a goods-to-person robotic environment.

Workstation software

Operatives sign into their station. Users can be set up with individual logins (including barcode/RFID login), with permission settings to control access to various areas of the system. Upon signing into their workstation, pickers are presented with a simple screen that shows what needs to be picked and from which rack.

workstation software

features of our workstation software
  • It’s designed around user research making it incredibly easy to use
  • Users are guided through visuals and animations
  • It’s multilingual – native workers can work in their own language
  • It’s powered by real-time data, down to the minute
  • Should they wish, workers can see their own KPIs on screen

For the operative, it’s a simple case of being presented with the relevant bin number and the quantity of items required – all made even easier with the aid of our picking spotlights.

pick to light system

Pick-to-light system

When a robot carries a freestanding shelf rack to a picking station, you can choose to have a spotlight and camera mounted on top. This camera allows the rack shelves to be scanned with machine vision and the light then swivels to shine a light on the section that needs to be picked from.

One touch picking

One touch picking

From here, the picker scans the item, prints the label if required, and places the item in a tote ready to be taken to the next stage of the process. It really can be as simple as that – as one of our very own customers will show you:

A way of working that’s tailored to you

We know that no one warehouse operation is the same. That’s why our software is tailored to you. Using the data already running through your business, rules and workflows can be defined in our Automation Hub to make your robotic solution work exactly the way you need it to. Whether it’s how the software should operate during peak seasons, how your different orders are prioritised, or how the robots interact with different workstations – it’s all down to you.

Protecting your operatives

Using laser detection, ultrasonic pulses, and machine vision augmented camera feeds, the robots can accurately distinguish between inanimate obstacles, staff, and picking stations.

As well as being surrounded by safety features, your workers aren’t risking strains or injuries from all the repetitive bending, moving, and lifting that come with warehouse work. Instead, they can take on more engaging, value-added positions that pose less risk of injury.

Utilising your new data set

By default, Wise Robotics records time stamps of every interaction your operative might encounter – including rack arrival, rack departure, first scan, last scan etc. It also collects timing data for every user, down to the individual task. So, well as allowing in-depth reporting on performance, customer complaints can also be examined downed to the finest detail.

Give your team a warehouse to be proud of

With nearly 30 years of overseeing the operations of thousands of businesses, we understand that managing a warehouse isn’t easy – especially through ongoing labour challenges. Warehouse automation is of course a tool that can directly combat a lack of workers, but it’s also a tool that can empower and attract future staff.

Workers demand more, and warehouse automation is there to provide it. Whether that’s providing a more appealing working environment or providing more opportunities for growth – you’re giving your workforce the tools of the future.

To discover more about the role of your workforce in an automated warehouse, get in touch with one of our experts.

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