“Truck loading has long been considered one of the most challenging tasks in parcel hubs,” a news release stated. “Manual loading is taxing and previous technology approaches have not been able to handle the complex decision making required to stack the wide range of shipments encountered in FedEx network, which vary in size, shape, weight and packaging material.”
Dexterity AI focuses on the complexity of truck loading by giving mobile robots a suite of intelligence ranging from the ability to see, touch, think and move quickly to pack trailers with stable, dense walls of randomized boxes, according to Dexterity AI officials.
“Our culture of innovation is driven by a desire to help our team members and customers succeed,” said Rebecca Yeung, corporate vice president of Operations Science and Advanced Technologies for FedEx. “Based on feedback from our operations team, we have been looking for a solution that helps alleviate the challenges of truck loading. Collaborating with Dexterity AI to combine the latest in AI and robotics supports our operations team while meeting growing customer demand.”
DexterityAI’s proprietary mobile robot design, DexR, navigates autonomously to the back of trailers and connects to a powered conveyor system that feeds the robot boxes directly from the sortation system, the news release notes.
The DexR’s two-arm design enables the robot to pick and pack boxes simultaneously, improving throughput.
Dexterity’s AI platform uses a broad set of intelligence, so it can be used to handle the complexities of truck loading required by operations.
Some unique characteristics of the platform include:
- Generative Wall Planning: With every new box presented to the DexR, Dexterity’s AI software takes 500 milliseconds or less to assess billions of wall build possibilities to pack trailers with tight, stable walls.
- A Sense of Touch: Dexterity AI-powered force control gives robots a unique sense of touch so they know how to gently nudge boxes together in creating tightly packed walls.
- Machine Learning-Based Pack Improvement: Machine learning helps ensure that with every box picked, the Dexterity AI truck loading software becomes even more efficient in handling a broader range of packing challenges.
- Integrated Motion Planning: By integrating its own trajectory and motion planning, the Dexterity AI platform helps the DexR’s two arms move quickly inside trailers without colliding with each other or the truck walls.
Testing of the truck load technology is ongoing by FedEx with a goal to refine the technology and deploy commercially in the future, FedEx officials said.
“FedEx shares our belief that innovation should solve the most difficult tasks in operations,” said Samir Menon, founder and CEO of Dexterity AI. “Our collaboration is driven by a vision of AI-powered robotics that is adaptable to our customer’s most pressing needs.”
The official unveiling of this AI-powered robotics truck loading technology took place at the companies’ joint event — “Unlock the Dock” — in San Francisco on Sept. 26.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.