Robotics start-up wins contract with giant German logistics company

Fiege, one of the world's largest logistics companies has bought three perception based robots for its shoe supply subsidiary.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor
Photo: Magazino

The German robot company Magazino is has signed a deal to see three robots to logistics company Fiege.

Fiege is one of the largest logistics companies in the world with a turnover last year of €1.4bn. The company is starting small with its new contract for three of the perception controlled robots that Fiege will use in its shoe supplying subsidiary.

Established in 1873 and still family run, Fiege has 10,500 employees in 160 offices in 15 countries. It has 2.7 square metres of warehouse space.


The Chancellor pays a visit: Angela Merkel dropped in on Magazino earlier this week. Pictured here with CEO Frederik Brantner and CTO Lukas Zanger.

Photo: Technical University of Munich

In the new implementation, Magazino's TORU Cube will receives its picking-orders via WLAN. It can to pick rectangular-shaped objects - up to a weight of three kilograms - from the lowest shelf up to the highest in a regular storage system, the company said.

The robot can store six to eight shoeboxes, and can do numerous orders in one run. The robot's safety mechanisms can recognises obstacles, as well as humans, in the workplace. This information is then used to help orientate the system and pinpoint an objects location in the warehouse.

Reflectors or markers on the ground, the standard way to use robots now, will not be necessary. Once learned, the robot can share, via WLAN, self-created maps of its environment and its experience with certain barriers. This knowledge can then be used to help new "robot-colleagues" that join the fleet, the company said.

Fiege plans to begin deployment of the new system at Fiege's Mega Centre in Hamburg later this month.

The CEO of Fiege, Jens Fiege, pointed out that his company already uses robotics in its warehouses but that this will be the first implementation of perception-based robots. It is part of the company's application of "intralogistics" - the optimisation, automation, integration and management of the logistical flow of material goods. Magazino was launched two years ago and is part owned by Siemens.

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