India’s biggest e-commerce and Wal-Mart owned company Flipkart in the race of pre-Diwali festive season sale called the Big Billion Days or BBD, especially against Amazon Great Indian Festival sale. Flipkart is using robots to ship more products out of its Bengaluru warehouse.
Launched in May this year, Flipkart had a fleet of 110 robots and is now adding 340 robots to its existing fleet, these are small orange cuboid-like robots. Flipkart calls them bots or Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV’s), which move within a fenced area bereft of humans.
These robots are going to carry anything with them, from appliances to books to mobile phones. ON this take, Pranav Saxena, Head of Robotics at Flipkart states they’re ramping it up to 3 to 4 times. Flipkart’s Big Billion Day sale is an annual shopping festival that is usually kept in October, all over the same time as Amazon’s Great Indian Festival sale.
During the previous BBD sale, the company’s gross merchandise – GMV, the entire worth of goods offered without considering discounts – grew by 90% compared to 2017. The time, it included $1 billion in total GMV as well as millions of new customers. And so, taking these climbing-fashion into context, the company wants to repeat this particular year’s BBD sale to achieve success, too. And that scale is going to require robotics together with human effort.
The bright orange AGVs are about the same size of a Roomba and move quickly. They are full of sensors, meaning, in spite of there being more than a 100 of them within an enclosed area, they do not bump into one another, but quite wait as self-driving cars would in traffic. And they operate 24/7, except after they instantly guide themselves towards designated charging points when batteries run very low.
As part of the inclusion of even more robots to Flipkart’s pre-existing bots, the company officials believed that the first 100 bots that were deployed improved the efficiency of theirs with 60% by processing 4,500 shipments per hour. With 450 bots, they imagine, a lot more can certainly be attained. The effectiveness may be scaled more than 5 times with incremental adjustments. The bots can do all this without the need of enrolling in a tea break, 24/7, for the complete year. Flipkart’s robot-based sortation technology is the first in India, as well as among Asia’s very first such deployments outside China.
Currently, Flipkart is at that cusp of machine learning-driven warehouse automation which is going to empower its millions of shipments. The company’s BBD sale this year is going to focus
mostly on core product categories, like smartphones, appliances and its top-selling brands across several segments.