How robots solve chal­leng­ing situations

And how they call for sup­port when needed

8. April 2021

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In today’s most advanced ware­houses, Magazino’s autonomous robot TORU works side by side with human col­leagues. The robot is spe­cial­ized in pick­ing, trans­port­ing, and stow­ing objects like shoe boxes in e‑commerce ware­houses. But another skill is also cru­cial to sur­vive in a buzzing ware­house: deal­ing with the unexpected.

Sen­sors and com­puter vision enable the robot to work next to humans in a safe way. But work­ing with humans in the same envi­ron­ment also means deal­ing with the chaotic world that humans are used to. Some­times this can be a chal­lenge for autonomous sys­tems like mobile pick­ing robots. That’s why Mag­a­zino devel­oped dif­fer­ent ways to sup­port them. 

Level 1 — Robots help them­selves 

The TORU robots learn from their indi­vid­ual expe­ri­ence by uti­liz­ing meth­ods of Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence. Through cloud-based knowl­edge shar­ing, the indi­vid­ual robot also prof­its from years of expe­ri­ence of the entire robot fleet. The robots iden­tify chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tions and adapt imme­di­ately to solve them best. That’s why TORU can han­dle the vast major­ity of dif­fi­cult or unfore­seen sit­u­a­tions on itself. 

Level 2 — Users sup­port the robots 

If there are sit­u­a­tions the robot TORU can­not solve by itself – like when the tar­get com­part­ment is phys­i­cally not reach­able – TORU is able to ask for help. Just like humans would do.  

Sim­ple, easy to under­stand tuto­ri­als are pushed to mobile devices and pro­vide guid­ance on where to find the robot in the ware­house and how to solve the issue. Col­lab­o­ra­tively robots and humans are resolv­ing the issue together, keep­ing the avail­abil­ity of the robot fleet high at all times. 

One aspect of this is the soft­ware “Ops­Ge­nie”. This tool helps to coor­di­nate errors, inter­ven­tions, on-site oper­a­tions, and remote sup­port engi­neers from Mag­a­zino when the robots are con­fronted with chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tions. 

Level 3 — Remote sup­port by Mag­a­zino 

And for the most dif­fi­cult cases, the Mag­a­zino Sup­port Cen­ter is just one click away to help with remote sup­port. Hav­ing remote access to robot data and sen­sors, remote oper­a­tors from Mag­a­zino proac­tively con­tact users to sup­port with video call or chat. Together they solve the issue, and the TORU robots are back on track within min­utes.