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Robotic Assistance Devices Shipping Large Quantity of Units as Fiscal Year End Approaches

They are shipping every type of RAD unit to a wide range of vertical markets and end users, indicating that where there are labor, performance or cost challenges there is likel

Robotic Assistance Devices Shipping Large Quantity of Units as Fiscal Year End Approaches

Artificial Intelligence Technology Solutions, Inc., (OTCPK:AITX), announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Robotic Assistance Devices, Inc. (RAD) is expected to ship a minimum of 18 units this week as it continues its progress towards completion of the fiscal quarter and year.

They are shipping every type of RAD unit to a wide range of vertical markets and end users, indicating that where there are labor, performance or cost challenges there is likely a RAD solution. It’s significant to note that these units were sold through an ideal mix of channel partners and direct to the end user.

Nine months ago, They took possession of their REX (‘RAD Excellence Center’) and now it’s humming with activity. The REX is RAD’s 30,000 sq. ft. manufacturing complex located near Detroit, Michigan. The devices they are shipping out of the REX this week include at least one of every solution RAD has to offer, from ROSA to ROAMEO.

The company confirmed that scheduled to ship this week are 2 SCOT towers, being deployed at a significant regional airport that typically handles more than 15 million passengers per year, 5 ROSAs destined for a public park in San Francisco, 2 AVA units heading to a distribution center for a well-known global retailer, 1 Wally HSO for professional office use, and the second of 2 ROAMEOs for a leading theme park operator.

During his weekly video message to nearly 20,000 subscribers, Steve Reinharz, CEO of AITX commented that the fear of being first is being replaced by the fear of missing out. He elaborated that the security industry has been very conservative in how quickly it adopts new technologies. He said that there is a shift taking place right now and RAD is perfectly positioned to take advantage of it.

The company also noted that the identities and locations of several of the devices shipping this week are expected to be revealed in the near future. Hundreds of thousands of people will soon see SCOTs and ROSAs at airports, ROSAs at a public park, and ROAMEOs at theme parks. These public-facing RAD units will mean incredible visibility for the company as they approach the end of the company’s fiscal year.

Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD) is a high-tech start-up that delivers robotics and artificial intelligence-based solutions that empower organizations to gain new insight, solve complex security challenges, and fuel new business ideas at reduced costs. RAD developed its advanced security robot technology from the ground up including circuit board design, and base code development. This allows RAD to have complete control over all design elements, performance, quality, and the user’s experience of all security robots whether SCOT, ROSA, Wally, Wally HSO, AVA, or ROAMEO.

Read about how RAD is reinventing the security services industry by downloading the Autonomous Remote Services Industry Manifesto.

This article contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements in this news release other than statements of historical fact are “forward-looking statements” that are based on current expectations and assumptions. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the statements, including, but not limited to, the following: the ability of Artificial Intelligence Technology Solutions to provide for its obligations, to provide working capital needs from operating revenues, to obtain additional financing needed for any future acquisitions, to meet competitive challenges and technological changes, to meet business and financial goals including projections and forecasts, and other risks. Artificial Intelligence Technology Solutions undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement(s) and/or to confirm the statement(s) to actual results or changes in Artificial Intelligence Technology Solutions expectations.

They are shipping every type of RAD unit to a wide range of vertical markets and end users, indicating that where there are labor, performance or cost challenges there is likel

Fast Company Names Seegrid as 4th Most Innovative Robotics Company in the World

Leading Autonomous Mobile Robot Provider Recognized for Transforming the Global Supply Chain with Intelligent Automation Solutions

Seegrid Corporation, the leader in autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for material handling, has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2022, placing then #4 globally in the robotics category. The publication assembles the annual list to honor businesses that are thriving in today’s ever-changing world and making the biggest impact on their industries and culture. Serving the world’s largest manufacturing, e-commerce, and logistics brands, Seegrid was recognized by Fast Company for its industry-defining approach to delivering complete, connected material handling automation solutions.

Seegrid’s innovative autonomy technology, Seegrid IQ, fuses data from cameras, LiDAR, and machine learning models with the company’s proprietary 3D computer vision system. This proprietary technology collects a high density of information, then prioritizes and filters the data to enable mobile robots with a human-like understanding of industrial environments.

Seegrid IQ enables Seegrid Palion™ AMR models to safely move thousands of pounds of material while working collaboratively alongside humans.

Jim Rock, Chief Executive Officer at Seegrid had this to say “I am incredibly proud of Seegrid’s collective ability to solve complex material handling challenges. We are committed to delivering mobile automation solutions that safely bring transformational change to the world’s supply chain.”

Fast Company’s editors sought out the most groundbreaking businesses across the globe and industries. In the last year, Seegrid introduced three new AMR models, launched Fleet Geek™ analytics software, and invested millions into new equipment and tools to help drive its research and development initiatives. Seegrid earned recognition as the #1 AMR provider in the US and #1 market leader in tow tractor AMRs worldwide from Interact Analysis, an international market research authority for the supply chain automation industry. The company’s Palion AMR fleet has driven seven million autonomous miles in customer production environments without a single safety incident.

Fast Company selects businesses who are creating the future today with some of the most inspiring accomplishments of the 21st century. Of this same mindset, Seegrid continuously advances its breakthrough robotics technology pioneered by world-renowned roboticist Dr. Hans Moravec, the company’s founder and Chief Roboticist. Blue Labs, a dedicated in-house research group of world-class automation experts, many with Ph.D. level expertise in robotics and computer vision systems, is solely focused on the rapid advancement of mobile automation technologies. One such advancement includes the company’s first autonomous lift truck, Seegrid Palion Lift AMR, set to be unveiled this month at MODEX, the largest manufacturing and supply chain trade event.

As part of its commitment to ensuring all customers realize the full benefits of automation, Seegrid offers its customers options to purchase equipment outright, as well as various leasing and subscription models.

Fast company Deputy editor David Lidsky had this to say”The world’s most innovative companies play an essential role in addressing the most pressing issues facing society, whether they’re fighting climate change by spurring decarbonization efforts, ameliorating the strain on supply chains, or helping us reconnect with one another over shared passions”.

technology arrivenow labor industrial

Investing in Supply Chain Technology Will Give You a Competitive Edge

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about many changes, some of which were more unexpected than others. Anyone with a stake in the logistics industry saw unprecedented supply chain shortages and disruptions that impacted everyone. Materials foundered in warehouses with no one to transport them to factories for manufacturing. Completed products collected dust because no drivers were available to carry them to their final destination. It even threw a wrench in Christmas 2021, making it harder for consumers to get their hands on artificial trees.

Some of these issues have begun to fade, but there are still challenges facing the supply chain industry. How can investing in new supply chain technologies give companies a competitive edge?

The Last Mile Is Evolving

While 2020 wasn’t the first year where e-commerce and online orders started to take precedence over physical storefronts, adding a global pandemic to the mix made having that option more essential. It allowed people to stay home as much as possible while still ensuring they had everything they needed or wanted throughout the lockdowns. Consumers have grown accustomed to fast delivery, but their definition of fast is different from what most might typically find in the logistics industry.

One recent survey found that 96% of consumers equate “fast” delivery with “same-day” delivery. Barely half of the retailers offer that delivery option, but that consumer definition means it is essential to shorten the amount of time those last-mile deliveries take. Supply chain innovations and new technologies can help bridge the gap between what the consumer perceives as fast and the reality that defines the logistics industry as it currently stands.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Is Making Its Mark

The logistics industry as a whole generates massive amounts of data every single day. Supply chain data, consumer information, manufacturing details, and everything in between gets collected and stored. This data is often stored where companies can access it, but it’s usually just a mish-mash of numbers in its raw form. Making sense of that information is often beyond what even the most skilled business owner can manage – at least on their own.

Experts anticipated that more than half of companies in the supply chain industry were planning to begin investing in artificial intelligence systems for their companies by the end of 2021. This is a 15% increase year-over-year for this industry alone. In the long run, AI will likely add trillions in value to the industry in the coming years. This trend is picking up speed, but there is still plenty of time for existing companies to get in on the ground floor and adopt it before it transitions from niche to necessity.

Changing Best Practices With Robotics and Automation

Robotics and automation is a field that often earns a lot of negative attention and press because of its threat to human jobs. People are afraid that robots will steal jobs, and this sort of hidebound attitude has often led to industries that are otherwise on the cutting edge of their field shunning advances. In supply chain operations, experts expect robotics and automation to grow steadily over the next five years, especially in any situation where a robot can take over a dangerous or high-risk task.

Introducing robotics and automation can help companies overcome existing problems, especially regarding functionality and fulfillment. Warehouses that still rely on manual picking methods aren’t going to keep up with the growing demand when competing against companies that have already purchased and implemented automated picking systems.

Removing Humans From Some Equations

A lack of skilled workers, especially in the trucking industry, has presented a unique challenge for those working with supply chains. Having all the materials in the world doesn’t mean much when no one is available to haul those materials from warehouse to factory or from factory to consumer. There was a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers by the end of 2021, and experts estimate that will double by 2030.

The technology is almost ready for self-driving trucks that could help offset this growing labor shortage. They will never fully replace the need for human drivers, but they could help fill in the gaps while the trucking industry makes the necessary changes to rebuild its ranks. The demand for skilled drivers will never disappear, especially when the weather turns sour. Still, these self-driving alternatives could help ensure materials and finished products promptly reach their destinations.

Warehouse Optimization Is Key

Warehouse layout options haven’t changed much in the last few decades, but change is a necessity if companies are hoping to keep up with the increased demand. Warehouse optimization is essential to manage the increasing number of orders. Often, something as simple as rearranging the inventory so the most frequently purchased items are closer to the picking and packing stations can help, but that isn’t always enough.

Warehouse management systems – software designed to sort through and manage all the data a warehouse produces – are one piece of the puzzle. These, when paired with the artificial intelligence and machine learning systems mentioned above, can create a network that will increase productivity and supply chain efficiency. Robotics and automation will also play a role, removing some of the human element, especially in regards to inventory management and picking orders. The goal here isn’t to eliminate human workers entirely, but to make their jobs easier through AI and other advanced supply chain technology so they can carry them out more efficiently.

Overcoming Supply Chain Challenges in the Future

No one could have anticipated the challenges that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, companies need to work to recover from those challenges and overcome any new problems that might occur in the future. New technologies can help give companies an edge in an already ultra-competitive industry. For those that haven’t already started considering these changes, now is a perfect time – the calm between storms – to begin researching how it could work for them.

The demand for e-commerce and the supply chains to support it isn’t going to go away anytime soon. Now is the time to start adopting these new technologies so companies can start getting ahead of the competition.


Taking The Mystery Out Of AI: 4 Ways It Makes Life Easier

Artificial intelligence is significantly impacting the world, yet there’s still a great amount of mystery – and misconceptions – about it.

The public’s imagination has been heavily shaped by science fiction, with the term AI evoking images of robots like WALL-E, C3PO from Star Wars, and David from Stephen Spielberg’s movie A.I. Scientists and technologists refer to this kind of humanlike AI as “general artificial intelligence.” General AI attempts to mimic the kind of abstract thought and typical problem-solving skills seen in humans.

I say attempts because there is currently no existing general AI system even approaching the sophistication of the human brain. The technology is nowhere close to creating a system capable of abstract thought or general intelligence. But “applied AI” is rapidly becoming a mainstream technology, improving the efficiency and profitability of businesses in many industries.

Why applied AI is faster but not yet smarter than us 

Current AI systems, for all their computational ability, do not have the ability to understand and analyze context the way human brains do. For example, we can see a barking dog and instantly determine the threat level. Sufficiently advanced AI can recognize the dog but may be unable to determine the breed, its physical agility, and whether it has been encountered before. Unlike humans, AI cannot connect dots and judge context to solve problems creatively.

But AI systems can make decisions far more rapidly and accurately than humans. The strengths and limitations of the current generation of artificial intelligence make it most applicable for solving fit-for-purpose business problems. (Fit-for-purpose is the concept in which a product or service is adequate for the purpose for which the consumer selected it.) AI systems are designed to handle a specific task while operating within imposed contextual constraints. These fit-for-purpose systems and tools are known as applied AI.

There are four primary business applications of applied AI in industry. Here is a look at each and how they create efficiencies and value:


Automation saves countless man hours and resources, as computers can process

data in a fraction of the time it takes humans. Some of these processes require decision-making. This is where AI comes into play. Most business processes involve a structured set of inputs, and decisions are made based on defined policies and guidelines. The variables in the equations are well known and operate within a narrow context. Algorithms can make these decisions rapidly and accurately.

These algorithms allow much of the workload that companies do to be offloaded onto automated systems. That advancement provides conveniences for consumers in the age of online shopping. Capital One Shopping, for example, offers customers a browser add-on claiming to save money by automatically comparing prices, applying promo codes and providing deal alerts.

Banks use AI to automate the loan process. Relevant financial records are collected automatically, validated, and analyzed. The system can give a recommendation on the loan before a lender ever sees the application. This may sound frightening and impersonal, but these systems actually assess loans more accurately and fairly than humans. They look at a borrower’s credit history, credibility, liabilities, and other factors and make an impartial decision. Quite often, these individual metrics are also calculated by AI. Credit scores, for example, are calculated automatically.


The data produced by automated business processes holds valuable insights. These insights can be about almost anything; they may reveal something about a business process, unlock untapped opportunities, or even allow companies to make predictions about the future.

The data analysis that leads to insights is mostly automated. Given the volume of data that companies now work with, we need these automated AI systems to find the signal in the noise. AI looks for patterns and makes decisions based on training and defined guidelines. The exponential power of these systems can be seen in machine learning.  IBM Watson, for example, can predict when an elevator is going to fail. AI systems are able to return insights about insights into their own operation, and this allows them to improve their data sets and algorithms. As a result, AI systems draw insights that the designers may not have ever considered or been looking for.


Insights have many applications, but one that is rapidly transforming industries is personalization of user engagement. The insights drawn from consumers, users, and other stakeholders can be used to improve their experiences by engaging with them in a personalized manner.

There are many ways companies can use data to personalize the experience for the stakeholders they serve. Google maps knows through habits a driver’s route and daily schedule and will give them an outlook for the day based on the current data. Retail companies have their websites feature inventory designed to appeal to the specific viewer. Online ads are micro-targeted at individuals based on insights into their specific consumer behavior. Social media platforms also customize news feeds to increase user engagement. Search engines provide results that are tailored to the user’s location, demographics, search habits, online shopping history, and other data.


Sensing produces a kind of insight that deserves special mention due to its revolutionary potential. The exponential explosion in data and computing power now allows us to better recognize patterns as they are forming and predict how they will develop, which in turn allows us to actually sense trends as they form and develop.

This ability has huge business applications. Consider the sudden rise and success of TikTok. ByteDance, the Beijing-based parent company that developed the app, hit it big by filling an emerging niche for teens who could use a platform for recording and sharing short videos. TikTok noticed the trend among teens, built a dedicated app, and marketed it to the emerging user base as the trend developed. TikTok is now worth billions of dollars and is changing the social media landscape.

Many companies using applied AI have built fortunes and improved the world for billions of people. They did so by leveraging exponential technology and riding the development curve. We can likely achieve higher levels of AI-powered efficiency and improvement in all industries.


Rajeev Ronanki ( is the president of digital platforms at Anthem Inc., and the ForbesBooks author of You and AI: A Citizen’s Guide to AI, Blockchain, and Puzzling Together the Future of Healthcare. Before joining Anthem, Ronanki was a partner at Deloitte Consulting, where he spearheaded a myriad of technological healthcare innovations. Ronanki is a frequent contributor to Forbes and other publications. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Osmania University and a master’s in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania. 

productivity supply chain 4.0 goods

Here’s How Supply Chain 4.0 Makes Your Organization More Efficient

There’s a growing interest in Supply Chain 4.0 technology, especially as logistics professionals cope with stock shortages, port delays, and other challenges. Advanced tech can boost productivity in warehouses and all other points of a product’s journey to its destination. Here’s a closer look at what supply chain management can do for those who invest in it.

Facilitating Productivity and Reducing Worker Strain

Hard physical labor is a regular occurrence for people who have many supply chain jobs. Getting relevant training about how to bend, lift, and avoid strain from repetitive tasks can pay off in helping them stay injury-free and able to give maximum output. However, some companies are also investing in robots to help even more.

In one case, a distributor of adult incontinence products pursued robotic palletizing to streamline its receiving process. An associate begins by scanning a label on a carton to tell the robot a product is on the way that must be unloaded soon. The robot then refers to 20 patterns stored in its memory to decide how to build a pallet based on the incoming items. Once the robot creates the pallet, the goods go to a picking location or storage area.

There are many other opportunities to incorporate robots into Supply Chain 4.0, too. Some autonomous mobile robots bring goods to warehouse workers so those employees don’t have to leave their workstations and take the extra time and energy to replenish what they need.

Other robots work beside supply chain employees, saving them from some of the more laborious or error-prone tasks. Robotic machines excel at duties that require them to do the same movements for hours on end. They don’t get tired and, as a result, can prevent fatigue in humans.

Minimizing Packaging Waste

Supply chain management technology can ensure that each product shipped out of a warehouse has just enough packaging to protect it for the rest of its journey. Packaging has seen numerous user-friendly improvements over time. Creating perforations in materials lets people tear off pieces of cardboard or bubble wrap without using scissors.

Often, these perforations create a clean opening, helping people use the package for other reasons rather than throwing it away. Plus, many food wrap packages have integrated blades that let users cut the foil or parchment at the desired length. These examples show how smart packaging decisions can reduce waste, thereby pleasing consumers and helping manufacturers conserve resources.

However, there’s still room for improvement. Most people can recall occasions where they ordered a small item online and received it in a gigantic amount of packaging. That’s an unwanted outcome for everyone involved. However, Supply Chain 4.0 could make such situations happen less frequently.

Amazon developed a system that uses computer vision and machine learning to determine the type of packaging a particular item needs. The model can detect an object’s size, plus packaging details, such as whether an item is inside a plastic bag or a glass bottle. It also recognizes perforated parts of the package.

When the model has sufficient confidence in the ideal package for a given item, it can select it automatically, which increases efficiency. However, when the confidence level is lower, the system can flag that instance. In such cases, a human reviews the specifics and makes a judgment call. This approach helps Amazon meet its aims to cut down on packaging used. However, it also means items should arrive well-protected, but not overly so.

Achieving Better Visibility With Supply Chain 4.0

Supply chain management can get tricky because it often involves predicting demand based on known factors and making educated guesses about the unknown ones. What makes a certain product highly desirable worldwide while seemingly similar items don’t sell nearly as well? Which steps should supply chain professionals take to avoid long-term outages? Technology can help address those all-important questions.

One study found that artificial intelligence-driven demand planning caused a 50% drop in the product volume affected by extreme forecasting errors. Then, overall forecasting mistakes went down by a third. Those outcomes likely occurred because artificial intelligence can efficiently process large amounts of data and pick up on things humans would miss without technological help.

Decision-makers at computing brand Dell created a digital model of the company’s supply chain to help it cope with the ongoing semiconductor shortage. That tool enables running various simulations so that leaders can plan how to best handle the most likely scenarios.

One way Dell uses the simulated situations is to determine which products will probably become increasingly difficult to source. The company compensates by designing many items with interchangeable or reusable parts as one practical strategy for dealing with current and near-future conditions.

In another case, Unilever unveiled a digital twin that found the optimal batch time by calculating how long it took to produce the necessary quantities of shampoo. Having that data enables consistent production output and helps managers spot bottlenecks within a factory or elsewhere that could cause supply chain strain if left unaddressed.

Measuring Outcomes With Data and Metrics

Supply Chain 4.0 technologies typically don’t give optimized outcomes immediately after implementation. Instead, people in authority must examine the available data and make relevant tweaks accordingly.

Fortunately, that’s becoming easier to do with data analysis tools and sensors that automatically gather data for future review. Perhaps a factory leader hoped to increase weekly output by at least 25% after installing several logistics robots. A platform that collects and analyzes real-time data could show how close the facility is to meeting that goal.

Alternatively, a company may deal with a persistent problem of machines breaking down unexpectedly and significantly hindering the workflow. Connecting smart sensors to the problematic equipment could make it easier for maintenance workers to identify issues before they cause factory shutdowns.

Many decision-makers are understandably hesitant to invest in a lot of Supply Chain 4.0 technology at once. They’d prefer to see evidence of the positive effects of such spending first. Luckily, it’s progressively easier to get it.

A manager could start by calculating the money lost due to equipment failures. They could then measure how much smart sensors save by alerting people to issues before those machines become inoperable. Since so many connected technologies can gather data, they prove whether certain investments provided the efficiency gains people hoped for at the outset.

Supply Chain Management Technology Is Undoubtedly Valuable

These examples show how moving ahead with Supply Chain 4.0 plans could generate impressive results. However, that doesn’t mean people will get those advantages in all cases. They can massively raise their chances of success by considering the biggest supply chain obstacles affecting a business and how advanced technologies could help resolve them.


Emily Newton is an industrial journalist. As Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, she regularly covers how technology is changing the industry.

micro fulfillment


It’s almost hard to believe that two years have passed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its merciless impacts on the supply chain, consumer behavior and how the world conducts business as usual. There is really nothing “usual” about conducting business nowadays, particularly for fulfillment operations in a myriad of sectors now saturating the e-commerce market. 

The fact of the matter is that e-commerce is no longer just thought of for a holiday list or bargain deal that cannot be found in traditional brick-and-mortar shops. E-commerce is becoming more of a first option for some and a permanent solution for others. Grocers, retailers, department stores and beyond are feeling the full effect of the e-commerce trend and despite the pandemic, it could very well be here to stay. 

So, how does this change the way fulfillment providers conduct operations? According to KPI Solutions’ Brittain Ladd, micro fulfillment is the key to capturing lost dollars and keeping up with demand.

“About 20% of all sales today are direct-to-consumer,” Ladd shares. “Prior to the pandemic, only about 3% of grocery sales were online. And only about 6% of all retail sales were online prior to the pandemic, so we’ve seen a massive shift. Grocery retailers and retailers of general merchandise had to change their business models to keep up with direct-to-consumer demand.”

Ladd serves as the chief supply chain and marketing officer with Kuecker Pulse Integration (KPI) in addition to his position as a Forbes Councils member. KPI Solutions is the result of an integrated partnership between Kuecker Logistics Group Inc., PULSE Integration and QC Software. Known best for bringing system integration and robotics automation to a variety of sectors, KPI Solutions approaches fulfillment operations uniquely by implementing and innovating their own software to meet demand.

“KPI Solutions has partnerships with leading robotics companies, and we can install basically any system that exists,” Ladd says. “We work with some of the largest global companies to help them automate their fulfillment and sharpen their strategy to identify more cost effective and innovative ways to meet customer demand. Consumers want more speed, especially now, and a lot of analysts are confused because they fail to realize that the goal isn’t to just deliver groceries in 10 to 15 minutes, it’s to deliver apparel, shoes, electronics and other products as well.”

So, where does micro fulfillment fit? And more importantly, how can it support fulfillment operations now and in the future? Let’s start by understanding how companies–such as grocers—a re struggling beyond the surge in e-commerce. Ladd shares that contrary to the widely held belief, grocers are suffering significantly with e-commerce, as they not only spend more to fulfill these orders, but they must keep up with the labor involved in third-party services, which further complicates the process.

Keep in mind, grocery retailers are now faced with a new wave of demand and speed. Ladd shares that companies in Europe that have entered the U.S. market, such as Buyk and Jokr, are now offering “rapid grocery delivery” in as little as 10 minutes.

“On average, grocery retailers lose anywhere from $7 to $15 on every online order they fulfill,” Ladd says. “And in some cases, they can lose as much as $25 on every online order they fulfill. Most retailers barely break even on any of their curbside pickup orders, except for the product since it’s a little higher value. 

“Imagine being a retailer who is now forced into a model where they’re having to change everything they do to meet the changing demands of consumers, but everything the consumer wants them to do the retailer loses money on. That’s the challenge.”

That’s also where micro fulfillment centers and technology can not only capture these costs but turnaround the way e-commerce fulfillment is streamlined. 

Geek+, Berkshire Grey, AutoStore, and Addverb Technologies are a few of the companies that are innovating fulfillment operations through automated robotic systems. These fully automated systems reduce the chances for human errors with mobility and capability of reaching inside inventory bins quite literally to fulfill orders. Ladd shares that most of these automated solutions cost around $1.2 million to $1.5 million with a return on investment realized within 18 to 24 months, paying for themselves while re-inventing fulfillment.

“The best way I can describe it is like holding a Rubik’s cube in front of you,” Ladd says. “Each of the cubes has some type of inventory inside and sitting on top of the Rubik’s cube are robots that go back and forth and side to side reaching down and picking up these cubes and moving them from one side to another, pulling out inventory. That’s exactly what they do as a robotic picking and fulfillment system.”

Embracing technology is what comes full circle for retailers attempting to overcome the e-commerce surge. And options such as these not only fully automate fulfillment processes but keep human involvement to a minimum. Retailers are catching on and the U.S. market is now starting to see what the European market has already adopted. In fact, Ladd shared that three European companies have recently entered New York City, and they are bringing exploding growth with them.

What makes these systems even more enticing (beyond the fact that they are fully automated) is the ability to operate after-hours–or in the dark when stores are closed. Micro fulfillment centers are intelligent enough to automate the fulfillment process, but small enough that grocery retailers can install them inside their stores–completing all of the fulfillment tasks and mileage usually completed by employees. 

“These systems are quite easy for retailers to embrace and adopt,” Ladd says. “Companies including Kroger, H-E-B, Albertson’s, Instacart and DoorDash are among the more recognized brands that are exploring these innovative options and either installing these systems or exploring how to use these systems. Make no mistake, the future of retail is robotics. Retailers that don’t embrace robotics will never be able to survive long term.”


Brittain Ladd, chief supply chain and marketing officer with KPI Solutions, is recognized as a leading expert in business strategy, supply chain management, logistics and last-mile delivery. He was one of the first individuals to research, design and recommend that retailers install micro-fulfillment centers in their stores and chains.

automation tompkins

Automation Versus Human Innovation: How To Engineer An Equitable Economy

Are some companies moving closer to having more robots than employees?

Recent studies indicate a trend in that direction.

The data: Research from Google Cloud shows two-thirds of manufacturers who use artificial intelligence in their day-to-day operations say that their reliance on AI is increasing. And a report from PwC predicts that by the mid-2030s, up to 30% of jobs could be automated.

The key questions: How much automation vs. how much human innovation? Which is better for a sustainable economy? And why are some businesses spending more on automation than people?

Thought leader’s take: Jarl Jensen (, ForbesBook author of The Big Solution: Deactivating The Ticking Time Bomb Of Today’s Economy, says large inequities between the labor class and corporations exist in part because of cheap lending practices, enabling corporations to borrow large sums from banks – and one result is the trend toward more automation.

“Corporations would rather have an employee base full of robots, and a select few humans to monitor the robots, because it saves them money in labor cost,” Jensen says.

“Borrowing without a maximum limitation means it is easy, and often more affordable, for corporations to invest in automation or robotics than their labor force. It is cheaper to take a loan from a bank to finance the purchase of artificial intelligence software than it is to re-train workers or engage in improving work skills. The unfortunate reality of our economic system is that there is no incentive for banks to stop making loans to rich people and corporations – even if the end result is a decrease in jobs due to automation and artificial intelligence.”

Jensen thinks the economy can be engineered to make it more equitable – ”an economy for the people.” These are three of the tools he suggests to fix the economy:

Direct deposits. “The first and best tool at our disposal is the money that a new and better version of the Federal Reserve would deposit directly into the bank accounts of every American of working age,” Jensen says. “This is not a basic income. It is an essential liberty.”

Jensen’s idea is that the direct deposits would be made for future work. The amount each working person would receive would be adjusted according to the signals being received from the economy.  “The way out of the debt trap is direct deposits,” he says. “Direct deposits put the people first. It forces the system to adjust to the needs of the people. The money we’re talking about for these direct deposits is money that the Fed simply creates out of thin air like it does when it issues money for loans to banks. But this money is not creating a debt that has to be repaid, thus does not grow the national deficit or become a debt burden for the Americans who receive it.”

Blue sky markets. Jensen describes blue sky markets as money for businesses that pursue the common good. This tool, he says, takes big problems out of the government’s hands and puts them in the hands of entrepreneurs. ”Blue sky markets issue money directly to fund commodity exchanges that effectively solve these big problems,” he says. “They create money for the purpose of fixing what is broken and making a more sustainable, stable, and compelling future.”

One example of implementing this tool is in addressing climate change. “Businesses would bid on the exchange to remove CO2 from the atmosphere,” Jensen says. “Money that is not debt-based, taken directly from the Federal Reserve, would pay the lowest bidder to remove the CO2. Competition for profits would compel entrepreneurs to figure out how to do it efficiently and effectively.”

New kind of savings account. “Today, any money you put in the bank doesn’t sit in your account,” Jensen says. “It gets repurposed. The bank uses it to invest, to loan out to other people or entities, and to create more debt. But if, alongside these new direct deposits, you had new high-interest bank accounts that are accessible to everyone, then that would keep some of the money out of circulation. Many people would choose to save the money and collect the interest.”

Jensen says the money to pay those higher interest rates would come from the Fed. With more people saving because of this high-interest incentive, and much less of that money going out in circulation, he reasons that inflation would not set in despite all the direct deposits and blue sky markets. “And as a huge bonus,” he says, “this system makes planning for retirement a lot easier.”

“Having an economy for the people is all about reimagining how we value money and restructuring how banks do business,” Jensen says. “It’s about real freedom, sustainability, and the optimization of society.”


Jarl Jensen ( is ForbesBook author of The Big Solution: Deactivating The Ticking Time Bomb Of Today’s Economy. He’s the founder and president of Inventagon, a company creating simpler research and development solutions for organizations across the globe. Jensen holds patents for medical technologies that have reached sales of over $1 billion. He founded EuroMed, a company he sold in 2016, and has written five books about the economy and its relationship with society.


SCALLOG is Supported by the Intralogistics Specialist SPAN to Accelerate its Development in the Middle East.

As part of its international expansion strategy, SCALLOG announces the signing of a commercial agreement with SPAN, a renowned player in the optimization and automation of distribution centers in the Near and Middle East.

During the Dubai World Expo where French innovation shines, SCALLOG agreed to enter into a partnership agreement with recognized intralogistics expert SPAN to market their “Goods to Man” robotic solutions in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. It marks SCALLOG’s desire to develop in a market with strong development potential, in search of innovative solutions to build the logistics of the future by capitalizing on a regional base, expertise in logistics, numerous references and a long-term relationship with SPAN. As Olivier Rochet, CEO of SCALLOG tells us: “We are pleased to partner with an intralogistics expert like SPAN who will bring our value proposition to the fastest-growing markets in the Middle East. A “made in France” robotic logistics solution, highly flexible and scalable, that automates and optimizes order picking, with agility and resilience, and with a constant focus on reducing costs and lead times.

An extremely heterogeneous and competitive market in search of innovation.

As in Europe, the Covid-19 epidemic in the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula has accelerated changes in buying behavior and triggered a boom in e-commerce. According to the latest Market Research Feedback study commissioned by Tiktok, 90% of the users of this social network in Saudi Arabia, 83% in the United Arab Emirates, and 79% in Egypt have significantly increased their online shopping habits in 2020. In order to meet the new omnichannel requirements for consumers, the distribution centers in these countries must now rationalize and automate their logistics operations to increase productivity and accelerate their throughput while limiting their labor requirements.

Hoda Daniel, Strategy and Communication Director at SPAN, explains to us the specific features of the market: “The Middle East is a heterogeneous market, as diverse as the countries it comprises. Today, three countries stand out in terms of investment and the deployment of intralogistics resources: Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. However, they each have their own criteria in terms of regulation, infrastructure, etc… Companies in these countries are therefore looking for a local partner, an expert in intralogistics, who perfectly understands their specific needs, provides tailored solutions and builds long-term relationships, just like SPAN.”

A leading player in intralogistics in the Middle East

Founded in 1989, SPAN is a key player in the modernization of intralogistics in distribution centers, in terms of advice and technological solutions. With a team of over 370 associates and a presence in Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Beirut, the company has unrivaled experience in its market with projects completed in over 30 countries across all sectors of activity. In addition, it is well known for its wide range of automation solutions, from the most traditional to the most innovative, for optimizing all warehouse operations.

Walid Daniel, CEO of SPAN, comments, “Faced with the numerous upheavals caused by the health crisis, from the impact on demand to the changes in buying habits, coupled with the instability in our region, we are now witnessing a fragmentation of the intralogistics market. In this context, we wanted to expand our technological offer of mobile robots and shelving, more flexible and less expensive than traditional handling systems, in order to respond to the growing demand for agility and efficiency from our clients in the face of a new economic situation, namely a recovery with many uncertainties.”

Three key factors motived SPAN’s choice to endorse and market SCALLOG’s solutions, in addition to cultural similarities and common values: the technological reliability of the robotic solution proved in the field in Europe and transparently described in a technological roadmap, a value-added approach which means technology is used to optimize processes and a perfect understanding of operational requirements in order to build “tailor-made” solutions for clients.

Walid Daniel, CEO of SPAN, adds: “We are excited to add SCALLOG technology to our offer which moves us fully into intralogistics 4.0, combining automation, robotics, and data intelligence. This new offer guarantees our clients more agility and flexibility in their processes to adapt to changes and be creative in their business”.

Remi Badaroux, Partners Network Manager, concludes: “With SPAN, combining dual expertise, consulting and integration, our ambition, based on SCALLOG robotic solutions, is to quickly bring value to warehouses to enhance the customer experience and the competitive edge of businesses in the Middle East.

The two partners anticipate the first deployments of SCALLOG solutions in the first half of 2022.

Supply Chain Industry

Factors that are Reshaping the Supply Chain Industry

In the modern supply chain, the technology and software you use are as important as your strategies. Plenty of decisions and actions you need to take now happen in the digital world. So, you must pick the right technology if you want to see better efficiency in your chain. In essence, choosing the solution you want to use can make or break your position on the global stage. Hence, technology is and will stay one of the main things that define the game. But, what are the exact factors that are reshaping the supply chain industry? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.

Last year, COVID-19 took the supply chain to a new place, but not all in a bad way. The changes that took place opened new opportunities and created new practices for companies. We found ways to improve agility and eliminate risks, and things are only getting better.

To figure out how to make them better for your system, take a look at the key things that are transforming the industry at the moment.

Artificial intelligence

Algorithm-based decision-making software and data analyzers are being adopted in every niche, so it’s clear that the era of useful AI has arrived.

When it comes to the supply chains, among other things, AI can help you eliminate human error and reduce costs. It’ll allow you to restructure workflows, so all your workers can be more focused and productive. The technology will support them and make their jobs easier. We’ll explain how this happens a bit later.

The pace of technological change

Technology is developing faster than we can learn to use it. Let’s take eCommerce as an example. It provided people with a whole new way of shopping and took the world by storm. All of a sudden, you’re able to find anything you need and have it delivered to your door without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. Thanks to it, customer demands and expectations have changed. Now, they expect quick and even same-day deliveries. So, the logistics industry has to respond to that to stay in favor of people.

As a company, the only way to stay relevant is to build a reliable infrastructure and learn how to use new technology developments. Experts believe that online and mobile shopping will be the preferred way of buying for the majority of people in the future. Even today, people are getting everything from groceries to appliances online, so why would that change in the years to come?

To update your system, try to make your processes more streamlined. That will give you a better chance of keeping up with modern timeframes.

The Internet of things

We can’t talk about the factors that are reshaping the supply chain industry and not mention the Internet of things. Although most people will associate the term with smart home appliances, this technology is actually invented to deal with sensors and tracking equipment.

So, the IoT is what you’ll use if you want to reduce commercial warehousing costs. However, it can help you do much more than just that. With it, you can connect all the products, people, and processes within your organization and share information among them in real-time. Just like that, everything becomes streamlined, and your productivity goes up.

Automation and robotics

Of course, people have been using task-specific robots for decades in industries such as automotive. However, the latest generation of robots can learn how to do multiple tasks, so they have much more potential.

In supply chains, you can find a use case for these almost anywhere. Add AI into the mix, and you quickly realize that robots can bring many new things to manufacturing processes and reduce staff costs. With time, more and more repetitive or dangerous tasks will be performed by these.

Big Data

Big Data is used to track data and measure the performance of factories in real-time. In past times, to survey workers, you had to put an entire factory under surveillance. But today, modern sensors and networks give us insights that we couldn’t get before. You can even collect data on each and every employee if you want to. This way, you’ll spot problems much more easily and fix them sooner.

When you remove the bottlenecks in the delivery process, you’ll also improve the lives of your workers. You’ll streamline their roles, and they won’t waste time on unnecessary or frustrating tasks. If you rely on Big Data-driven decision-making, you’ll create a leaner business model and reduce wastage.

3D printing

If we’re talking about prototyping new products and designs, there isn’t a tool as useful as 3D printing. Companies that invested in it say that they managed to halve their prototype production times, and that’s a huge thing. If you have to wait for weeks until you get parts to start working, that creates problems right down the supply chain. It lengthens the process and increases the costs. On the other hand, 3D printing alleviates supply chain weaknesses that already exist.

Use it, and you can apply design iterations to the molds within hours. So, you’ll be speeding up the process and encouraging the closer engagement of product designers and the manufacturing team. And for that, 3D printing is one of the factors that are reshaping the supply chain industry.

Factors that are reshaping the supply chain industry – delivered

Incredible advancements in technology are at the root of all factors that are reshaping the supply chain industry. If you fail to incorporate them, you will fall behind. Therefore, follow the latest trends and introduce the changes that will streamline your processes, make your business functioning more efficiently and productive.


Deon Williams is a freelance writer with a degree in systems engineering. Although it’s not his main job, he loves to write articles and share his expertise. In the past, Deon helped companies like to streamline their processes and increase their earnings. When he’s not working, he loves to read in his comfy chair and play basketball with his two sons. 


5 Innovations in Manufacturing Processes and Their Effect on the Bottom Line

Manufacturing is a rapidly evolving industry. With a broad spectrum of sectors depending on manufacturing, modern facilities are often quick to adopt new technology that improves on their existing processes.

The rise of automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and data have created a wave of digital transformation. As manufacturing grows and becomes increasingly competitive, capitalizing on Industry 4.0 innovations can determine whether or not a company will succeed.

Here’s a look at five of these innovations and how they affect the bottom line.

1. Cobots

Robots aren’t new in the manufacturing industry. But as automation has grown, new approaches and technologies have emerged that can take its benefits further. Collaborative robots, or cobots, are one of the most significant of these upgrades to factory automation.

In a 2021 study, 44.9% of surveyed businesses said that robots are an integral part of their operations. Of those companies, 34.9% had adopted cobots. Cobots have slowly become more popular as manufacturers have realized the limits of traditional automation. Other robotic solutions are expensive and inflexible, making it difficult to scale, but not cobots.

Since cobots work alongside humans instead of replacing them, they typically automate fewer processes at once. Consequently, they’re often more affordable than traditional automation and easier to implement. Manufacturers can then automate one process at a time, slowly scaling up to meet demand or new challenges.

This incremental approach to automation removes the high upfront costs and disruptions of traditional automation. As a result, cobots enable manufacturers, especially smaller businesses, to scale up and down with ease. These companies can then enjoy quicker, higher ROIs.

2. IoT Sensors

Another growing innovation in manufacturing is the implementation of internet of things (IoT) sensors. While these technologies aren’t a manufacturing-specific phenomenon, they hold considerable potential in this sector. Perhaps their most popular and impressive use case is predictive maintenance.

Predictive maintenance improves on traditional maintenance schedules by avoiding both breakdowns and unnecessary repairs. According to a Deloitte report, it reduces maintenance costs by 25% on average. That’s an impressive figure on its own, but it also reduces breakdowns by an average of 70%.

Considering that an hour of downtime costs more than $100,000 in 98% of organizations, that adds up to considerable savings. Predictive maintenance isn’t the only application of IoT sensors in manufacturing, either.

Manufacturers can also use these sensors to gather data points throughout their operations. This data can then reveal areas of potential improvement, enabling ongoing optimization. The longer manufacturers use these technologies, the more they can save through them.

3. Additive Manufacturing

One recent innovation that is specific to manufacturing is 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing. While this technology is most well known as a tool for hobbyists, it originated as an industrial production technique. Recent advances have made it a more viable solution, leading to a comeback in industrial manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing lets manufacturers produce parts and products as a single piece instead of assembling multiple smaller components. Like mil-spec buffer tubes, which are made of a single piece of aluminum, this improves products’ strength and resiliency. As a result, they produce fewer defects, improving the company’s bottom line.

Since additive manufacturing adds material instead of cutting it away, it also reduces waste. Manufacturers can get more parts or products from the same amount of materials. 3D printers also typically work faster than traditional production techniques, leading to a quicker time to market.

Additive manufacturing is also more energy-efficient. Some products, like car batteries, require a lot of energy to handle the sensitive materials they need, leading to higher costs. By reducing energy consumption through additive manufacturing, facilities can increase their profit margins. Alternatively, they could reduce end prices, selling more with consistent profit margins.

4. 5G Connectivity

Like the IoT, 5G isn’t strictly a manufacturing technology, but it has impressive potential for the sector. 5G networks aren’t widespread enough yet to bring substantial improvements to the consumer sector, but they’re ideal for manufacturing facilities. Their higher bandwidth, increased speeds and lower latency let smart manufacturing reach its full height.

5G networks can theoretically support up to one million devices per square kilometer, ten times 4G’s limits. That will allow manufacturers to expand their IoT infrastructure to virtually every machine in the facility. Lower latencies will allow these interconnected systems to communicate more efficiently and reliably, unlocking Industry 4.0’s potential.

With all of these machines connected to one another, manufacturers could create cohesive autonomous environments. If a disruption occurs in one process, machines down the line could know and adapt to it, minimizing its impact. As a result, manufacturers could maintain higher productivity levels, minimizing their losses from lost time.

5G lets manufacturers use technologies like the IoT and automation to their full extent. This leads to higher ROIs for these significant investments.

5. Machine Vision Error Detection

AI has many use cases in manufacturing, but one of its most enticing is machine vision. Machine vision systems let manufacturers automate quality control processes at both the front and back end of production lines. This automation, in turn, improves the efficiency and accuracy of their error detection.

When Heineken installed a machine vision quality control system in its Marseille, France bottling plant, it highlighted this technology’s benefits. The facility’s bottling machine operates at 22 bottles per second, far too fast for human workers to spot any bottle defects without stopping it. The machine vision system, on the other hand, can analyze bottles at speed with a 0% error rate.

Machine vision error detection lets manufacturers increase production while maintaining the same level of quality. Since these systems deliver a level of consistency impossible for a human, they’re also more accurate. As a result, facilities will also produce fewer defects.

Fewer defects translate into less waste, and faster checking enables increased output. These factors combined result in an improved bottom line.

New Technologies Make Manufacturing More Profitable

These five technologies aren’t the only ones pushing manufacturing forward, but they are among the most notable. As more facilities embrace these innovations, manufacturing is becoming a more profitable industry.

Technologies like these improve efficiency, minimize errors, optimize operations and more. Manufacturers that can capitalize on them early will ensure their future success, and those that don’t may quickly fall behind.