DEVENS, Mass. - There are 53 shopping days until Christmas and for most of us, a lot of that shopping will be done online.
Some packages will arrive more quickly than others, and in Devens, Massachusetts, speed and efficiency are the focus of a team of people and robots.
From the moment you click the purchase button, to the day you open the box containing your new pair of shoes, there is a rush of activity working behind the scenes to get your purchase in your hands.
Some of it is handled by human hands and, and at this Devens facility, other parts are handled by bots.
“What's different about this facility is the technology and the automation that we use to more efficiently ship orders to our customers,” said Nick Saunders, with Quiet Logistics.
It's one of the only facilities in the world that does the job like this.
Juan Trinidad worked at the facility both before and after the robots were added.
“I'm used to doing it myself, but the robot helps me out to make it a lot easier to do my job,” Trinidad explained.
Using cameras, radar and mapping technology, locus robots communicate with each other and their human counterparts to select warehoused goods from storage and collect them for shipment.
And they do it all efficiently and quietly.
“If an obstacle is in the way, the bot ill navigate around that obstacle,” said Saunders.
The robots allow quiet logistics to send out three to five times more packages than with human hands alone; 22 million in all last year.
Saunders says demand for labor is so high, the bots fill the gap.
“The robotics and the automation is not replacing people, it's augmenting their productivity,” Saunders explained.
And as e-commerce grows, he believes these locally-engineered bots are the way forward.