More collaborative robots in warehouses and distribution centers
On Wednesday, Fetch Robotics, an autonomous mobile robotics company specializing in warehouse robots, announced it had received $25 million in funding. The new funding will be used to continue with the company’s vision of collaborative robots, which cooperate with and function alongside workers in factories and distribution centers of logistics companies, for example DHL. The freight series of Fetch robots deals with material transport and automatically collect data so that warehouse operations can be improved. Furthermore, Fetch robots can be easily integrated into other systems.
There is increasing demand from e-commerce, which means more distribution centers are required. However, there is a big shortage of factory and distribution workers. Therefore, there is a need for these collaborative robots from Fetch. Furthermore, the company has also gained interest from Tier 1 car manufacturers as the robots can discover and track the location of parts so that communication is maintained. Other customers of Fetch Robotics include Panasonic, Google and Toyota Research Institute.
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JD.com plans to build approximately 200 drone airports in China
This week, JD.com, a well-known Chinese e-commerce company headquartered in Beijing, revealed their improved plans of building 185 drone airports in the southwest of China so that it can expand its services into rural areas. In this way, not only will products be able to reach villagers, but also facilitate the deliveries of rural products across China. It is anticipated that the drone airports will be fully functional within 3 years.
The e-commerce company expects that the drone airports will make it possible to deliver agricultural products from Sichuan to any location in China within a 24 hour period. Moreover, the airports could drastically cut several costs by up to 70%. JD.com isn’t the only Chinese company benefiting from the growing rural market; other tech companies are following suit, such as Alibaba.
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Another order of the Tesla Semi Trucks
The new Tesla electric Semi trucks that were unveiled last month are still a hot topic in the automotive industry with a lot of companies of a variety of sizes jumping on the bandwagon. On Thursday, Anheuser-Busch, a brewing company headquartered in Belgium, announced it has ordered 40 of the Tesla Semi Trucks as the company plans to be more environmentally friendly by reducing vehicle emissions, and at the same time decreasing fuel costs. Anheuser-Busch wants to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2025 and these Tesla trucks would help achieve this.
The brewing company intends on using the new electric semi-trucks for its shipping operations to wholesalers that are located within 150 to 200 miles from its brewery. These electric trucks would be used alongside the company’s existing fleet of around 750 trucks. The company has reserved the trucks, but it hasn’t yet decided whether it wants to buy or lease the vehicles. There is plenty of time to decide as the Tesla Semis won’t be available until 2019.
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