LiBiao Robotics launch ground-breaking Airrob automated tote picking system

LiBiao Robotics has announced the launch of Airrob - a ground-breaking energy efficient robot-based tote handling solution that delivers high storage density, rapid and accurate picking and the scalability needed to future-proof warehouse and e-fulfilment operations.

Straightforward and cost effective to install, Airrob travels at speeds of up to 2 metres per second both horizontally and vertically on a lightweight frame fitted to the face of storage racking.

On arrival at the required location within the storage system, Airrob – which is capable of handling loads weighing up to 30kg ¬– automatically picks a tote before delivering it to ground level where it is passed to a transfer robot. In effect, the ground level robot performs the role of a mobile Pick & Drop station. It takes the tote box and its contents to a designated workstation where a worker removes the required items before putting the tote back on the robot. The transfer ‘bot then returns to the racking and hands the tote back to Airrob to be put away again.

The use of multiple ground-level robots ensures an uninterrupted flow of totes between the storage system and workstations. A single workstation can process 600 totes in and 600 totes out every hour, while just one Airrob can pick and store some 150 totes per hour.

Delivering a ROI within 12 -24 months, Airrob is an ideal choice for warehouse operations – especially e-fulfilment sites – that wish to achieve the benefits and efficiency gains offered by automated tote handling without incurring the kind of costs and lengthy disruption to business operations that come with the installation of some traditional automated tote picking solutions.

From beginning to end between just one and four weeks is all the time that’s required to install LiBiao Robotics’ Airrob technology. There is no need to change or alter a storage building’s infrastructure – so, for example, no special flooring treatment is necessary and ongoing system maintenance is very straightforward with software adjustments undertaken remotely and hardware components replaced individually as required.

Importantly, Airrob is highly energy efficient: each Airrob unit consumes just 150 watts per hour of operation.

Compatible with racking schemes that are two metres high and above, LiBiao’s Airrob performs optimally in temperatures of between minus 20 and plus 50 degrees centigrade, making it suitable for cold store applications.

Furthermore, Airrob’s compact dimensions and the clever design of its two-directional ‘hook’ mechanism allows a single unit to pick totes from the rack faces on either side of the aisle. This means very narrow aisle widths of just 0.85 metres can be set, which guarantees high storage density and optimum space utilisation.

At pre-launch trials Airrob has delivered outstanding results. One of the pilot sites was Itochu’s facility in the far east. The company’s Warehouse Manager, Dong Yucheng, comments: “We deployed Airrob on our existing racks and the results exceeded our expectations. Storage capacity increased by 30 per cent and throughput efficiency is now three times greater than it was. And, because everything is automated, forklift operators are no longer needed, so our operational costs have been reduced.”

Ronan Shen, LiBiao Robotics’ Overseas Sales Director, says: “LiBiao Robotics’ Airrob system fundamentally challenges existing tote-picking solutions. Airrob is cost-effective, scalable and efficient. Furthermore, it saves space and labour and guarantees high storage density. The market potential for this product is extremely high due to the exceptional flexibility of the system, its low installation and ongoing running costs and the wide range of existing sites for which it is suitable.”

Established in 2016, LiBiao Robotics is a modern high-tech enterprise specialising in the development of robotic systems for the post, parcel and logistics sectors. The company’s autonomous mobile robot technology is used by leading companies worldwide.