The United States Ambassador to Croatia W. Robert Kohorst visited the logistics and distribution center of Atlantic Grupa, a leading Croatian FMCG company with a considerable international footprint, to see Gideon Brothers’ autonomous logistics robots in action.
Gideon Brothers’ robots are helping Atlantic Grupa to automate operations and raise the efficiency of their newly-opened distribution center near Zagreb. Atlantic Grupa has launched a pilot project with the Croatian AI and robotics firm in the new distribution center in Q2 2019 with a planned use-case involving integration with the company’s warehouse management system.
Ambassador Kohorst was able to see the robots amid operation, performing tasks on their usual runs, ferrying loaded pallets between distant points of the distribution center. He was interested in use-cases, deployment specifics and advantages offered by the technology, that is on the opposite end of the robotics solutions spectrum compared to non-collaborative, centrally-guided machines – such as those used by Amazon.
Gideon Brothers team showed off the capabilities of the collaborative robots by inviting the visitors to disrupt their operation – stand in a robot’s way, surround it and walk around it – to demonstrate the advanced visual perception and navigation capabilities, as well as the safety of the machines. The robots, of course, continued their tasks unperturbed by the meddling visitors, turning to find alternative routes.
Such interaction with a machine in a real environment – a busy warehouse of a sizeable FCMG player – is only possible with a fully autonomous mobile robot, one that is flexible, collaborative, and can be rolled out in any existing industry-standard warehouse, safely operating among human workers and fixed and mobile equipment. It would be impossible – or even dangerous – with centrally guided, automated machines operating in warehouses that are off-limits to humans or with robots for which each change in the environment can lead to a localization error.
“We believe that the future of automation is flexibility – technology that adapts to operations rather than forcing a company to mould its operations to fit a specific solution. We are convinced that such flexible, collaborative technology can improve manufacturing capacity and throughput, safeguarding future jobs,” Gideon Brothers’ CEO and co-founder Matija Kopić explains.
The principal motivation for implementing Gideon Brothers’ logistics robots for Atlantic Grupa is the need to innovate to keep the competitive edge and address the risks associated with labor market pressures. The company owns some of the oldest and most recognizable consumer brands in the region, competing for the market share against global giants. Another large revenue source for Atlantic Grupa is their distribution business, with several FCMG multinationals among their principals. The company is thus taking a strategic approach to innovation, continually upgrading both technology and processes.
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