Robotics and Drones: Future of Logistics Operations – May 2017

I attended the demonstration of the Lee College Robotics Club submersible robots (a.k.a. ROV) that was held at the Lee College Gymnasium/Natatorium. Students resolved several initial problems and risks. So proud of the good work by our students.

Students stand behind a table that holds robotics creations

  1. Figure the best method to waterproof the project.
  2. Deciding the type of motors (brush or brushless).
  3. How to get the board in the main body without short circuiting components.
  4. How and where to mount motors.
  5. How to control the ROV (Bluetooth, Wifi or Ethernet).
  6. Provide proper housing for the motors.
  7. Test and test and test.

Logistics and retail operations will employ more robotics and drones to assist in pick, pack, and ship operations in warehouses and to drone-deliver merchandise to customers. For large operations, there likely will be a need to use two separate functions in the company to control and run these the assets. Supervision of robotics will require the traditional manufacturing engineering skills such as CAD/CAM, but also will include know-how in warehousing and distribution operations. For drone-based shipping, I.T. will have to integrate these deliveries with existing supply chain and ERP systems. It’s likely that the company will also need a centralized group of operators and operations engineers who function much like an air traffic control center, monitoring drone takeoffs, flights, and deliveries.