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Introducing “Chuck” – the autonomous warehouse robot

Introducing “Chuck” – the autonomous warehouse robot

ODW Logistics implements 9 e-commerce fulfillment robots

This past May 2019, ODW Logistics implemented 9 autonomous mobile robots into one of our Columbus, Ohio distribution centers. These robots, called Chucks, are a collaborative automated solution that works with ODW Logistics’ employees to fulfill online orders more efficiently. Autonomous robots offer a more flexible solution to traditional cart picking. So how does Chuck improve the order picking experience at ODW Logistics?

  1. Minimize Walking:  The Chuck will group orders by specific aisles or zone. This allows reduced employee travel time and a more optimized picking zone for a more efficient process. On average, we have reduced travel time by associates nearly 1 mile/day!
  2. Grouped Tasks: Tasks can be grouped together based on the active zone. For example, interleaving picks, replenishment, counts, and moves can all be incorporated into the Chuck software ->  further optimizing the employee’s utilization.
  3. Work to Associate: Once a container is fully loaded another mobile Chuck robot is waiting for the employee nearby. This integration provides a seamless transition for the employee to continue fulfilling their work order.

In the first 5 months of utilization, ODW Logistics has realized the following efficiencies with the Chucks: 

  1. Training time reduced to 30 minutes: With a traditional cart pick system, training an associate can take up to 3 hours to ensure proper execution. Traditional training required an existing ODW associate to shadow the new employee. With Chucks on-screen training module, new associates can self-educate and be ready to pick live orders within 30 minutes. 
  2. Order Turn Time reduced by 5 hours: Average turn time from order entry to generating a tracking number has been reduced by approximately 5 hours.
  3. Shift capacity increased by 65%:  Single shift capacity has realized improved utilization and increased by 65%.

Within the first 5 months, results from the Chucks have been positive. Furthermore, our employees have provided positive feedback and are pleased to be working side-by-side with their new robot friends. At ODW Logistics, we continue to explore new and innovative ways to improve our customer’s supply chain and leveraging this particular autonomous warehouse robot is proving to be a promising solution.