Boots gets cyber weekend help from 'collaborative robots'
Written by Peter Walker
Boots deployed 135 robots in its Burton warehouse over the course of cyber weekend.
The 'cobots' – or collaborative robots – are still in action today, as the Black Friday deals continue into the first week of December.
The health and beauty retailer said the technology supported its staff by carrying orders between picking stations, cutting down the distance people had to walk while also reportedly improving productivity.
Last week, the retailer estimated it would experience six times the average number of orders per week during the period between 21 November and 2 December. Colleagues in 300 of its stores have been picking goods for online orders to support the rise in demand from customers ordering online.
Alan Penhale, interim supply chain director at Boots UK, said the cobots were in place to help with picking an expected three million items over a two-week period.
“They make the warehouse a calmer, more productive place and are also two to three times faster than manually pushing trolleys long distances, saving our teams from having to walk quite as far.”