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Fetch Robotics Partners with SAP to Deliver Virtual Conveyor Solution for Warehouse and Logistics Industries

Fetch Robotics today announced a partnership with SAP that incorporates SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) application with the Fetch and Freight robots from Fetch Robotics. Fetch Robotics builds robot systems for the logistics industry. Unveiled in May 2015, the Fetch Robotics system is comprised of an autonomous mobile platform (called Freight) and an advanced mobile manipulator (called Fetch).  Fetch and Freight use a charging dock for continuous operations, allowing the robots to charge when needed and then continue on with their tasks.  In addition, the system includes accompanying fleet management software, fetchcore, to support the robots and integrate with the warehouse environment.

The partnership between Fetch Robotics and SAP will enhance the efficiency at warehouses by enhancing the capabilities of SAP EWM with the ability to interact with the physical environment through the use of autonomous robots working alongside and helping workers to perform repetitive tasks such as goods delivery, pick and pack, and surveying.  The combination of Fetch Robotics and SAP EWM application integrates complex supply chain logistics with warehouse and distribution processes.

“We’re delighted to combine our expertise in robotics with SAP’s experience in warehouse management,” said Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics.  “It’s an innovative combination of hardware and software that benefits warehouse operators and their employees.”

“The combination of Fetch Robotics and our warehouse management system means that warehouse operators benefit from more efficient operation,” according to Franz Hero, SVP of Supply Chain & Logistics Development, SAP. “This integrated warehouse functionality allows logistics companies to automate the transportation of picked and packaged goods within their warehouse and drastically improves the efficiency of the warehouse workers.”

The Virtual Conveyor is one of the leading solutions from Fetch Robotics.  It utilizes the Freight robots working in concert with warehouse employees and the SAP EWM.  The associates pick goods from shelves and places onto a container or a shelf on a Fetch robot. When goods are all picked, the picker sends Freight to the packing station either using mobile device or touch screen on the robot.  As the worker completes this task, SAP EWM is updated with the completed order and another Freight robot engages with him or her to start following the employee for their next picking order.

In some warehouses, employees walk up to 14 miles each day, a physically demanding regimen that leads to fatigue, injury and burnout.  By introducing the Freight robot into the workforce, employees spend up to 50% less time traversing the warehouse floor and more time fulfilling orders.

About Fetch Robotics

Fetch Robotics builds robot systems for the logistics industry.  The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA.  For more information, please visit http://www.fetchrobotics.comor follow the company on Twitter@FetchRobotics.

Press Contact:

Tim Smith
Element Public Relations
415-350-3019
tsmith@elementpr.com

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Learning from the Luddites

Fetch CEO, Melonee Wise, was recently asked to contribute her thoughts as part of O’Reilly Media’s recent Next: Economy Summit.  Called “WTF”, the event tackled the issues of how work, business and society face massive technology-driven change.  Her contribution was entitled:

Learning from the Luddites
 
The current discussion about robots and AI taking jobs from human workers is only the most recent example of technological progress causing workforce change. This is a continuous process that’s been happening to society since at least the invention of the wheel. Occasionally, however, we see specific instances where one type of technology accelerates change so rapidly that workers become uncertain as to whether they will be able to adapt. The issue here is larger than the technology itself; just as important is the economic and social process that will be necessary to keep the workforce happy, healthy, and stable.
 
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The One Year Mark!

It’s been one AMAZING year! From revealing Fetch and Freight to the world to closing our latest round with SoftBank, Shasta, and OATV to shipping/sending our first robots out into the world. So to celebrate the Fetch Folk came together to build killer robots because sometimes it can be just as much fun to break things as it is to create them. And of course we fully support Fetchers building killer robots in the office to compete in the Fetch Robotics Weaponized Plastic Fighting League which we held during our one year Fetch Fest (a.k.a. Fetchival). Below are the results of the tournament.

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Fetch Robotics’ Melonee Wise is Recognized as an Honoree of MIT Technology Review’s Annual INNOVATORS UNDER 35 List

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Today, MIT Technology Review reveals its annual list of Innovators Under 35. For over a decade, the global media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world. For her work in the field of computer and electronics hardware, Fetch Robotics’ Melonee Wise has been recognized as an entrepreneur on the list.

Melonee is CEO of Fetch Robotics.  Prior to joining Fetch Robotics, Melonee was CEO and co-founder of Unbounded Robotics, where Melonee and her team introduced UBR-1 to the robotics world.  Along with the product debut, Melonee and Unbounded were the inaugural winners of the RoboBusiness Pitchfire competition.  Before then, Melonee was the second employee at Willow Garage.  Among other responsibilities there, Melonee was the Manager of Robot Development, where she led a team of engineers developing next-generation robot hardware.  Melonee has extensive experience developing and designing robot hardware and software. Some of her projects include developing algorithms, libraries, and hardware for an autonomous boat, car, personal robot platforms, and battle bots.  Melonee is also currently a Mentor in the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator.

“Over the years, we’ve had success in choosing young innovators whose work has been profoundly influential on the direction of human affairs,” says editor in chief and publisher Jason Pontin. “Previous winners include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the cofounders of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, the cofounder of Facebook; and Jonathan Ive, the chief designer of Apple. We’re proud of our selections and the variety of achievements they celebrate, and we’re proud to add Melonee Wise to this prestigious list.”

This year’s honorees will be featured online at www.technologyreview.com starting today, and in the September/October print magazine, which hits newsstands worldwide on September 1. They will appear in person at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference November 2–4 in Cambridge, Massachusetts (www.EmTechMIT.com).

About MIT Technology Review

MIT Technology Review, which is wholly owned by MIT, creates award-winning technology-related editorial content on a variety of platforms for an audience of millions of business leaders, innovators, and thought leaders, in six languages and in 147 countries. At www.technologyreview.com, readers access daily news and analysis, and the award-winning MIT Technology Review magazine has set the standard for technology publications since 1899. In addition to producing engaging live events, the company manages the global entrepreneurial organization MIT Enterprise Forum.

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Innovation Matrix Partners with Fetch Robotics to Provide Robotics Research Platforms

Innovation Matrix, Inc., an innovative distributor of robotic, motion control, and machine vision systems, today announced a partnership with Fetch Robotics of San Jose, California. This agreement allows Innovation Matrix to exclusively sell and support Fetch’s research products in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Australia.

Fetch Robotics has developed a robot system comprised of mobile manipulator robot called “Fetch” and a mobile base “Freight” for the logistics and material handling industry.

With Innovation Matrix’s knowledge in the Trans-Pacific, the partnership will provide Fetch’s robots to robotics researchers in the Pacific Rim region to accelerate research work in robotics. This effort will accelerate development of applications for the robotics industry.

“We are excited about our partnership with Fetch Robotics,” according to Eimei Onaga, CEO and founder of Innovation Matrix, Inc. “Through our industrial experience and knowledge of the capabilities of Fetch and Freight, we will be able to provide the best tools and support to our customers to remain competitive in the coming human-robot collaborative era.”

“We are delighted to have Innovation Matrix and Mr. Onaga representing us in these countries,” said Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics.  “Mr. Onaga has over 40 years experience in robotics business and engineering, has extensive experience in selling industrial and service robots in Asia, and speaks fluent Japanese.  This is an excellent team to have develop our distribution in these Asian countries.”

About Innovation Matrix, Inc.

Founded in 2004, Innovation Matrix, Inc. is an innovative distributor specializing in industrial and service robotics, motion control and machine vision products. Innovation matrix is uniquely positioned to meet its customers engineering and manufacturing goals with its trans-pacific automation industry expertise and maintains a global presence with direct offices and alliance offices in the U.S., Taiwan and Japan.

In 2006, RoboMatrix division was created to address the emerging next generation robot technologies such as mobile and telepresence robots and business matchmaking between US and Japanese service robot technology companies. Fetch’s products will be promoted by RoboMatrix division.

Press and Industry Analyst:
Eimei Onaga, CEO
408.329.4422 (voice)
408.716.2553 (fax)
sales@innovation-matrix.com

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Research Edition of Fetch & Freight

All of us at Fetch Robotics are proud to announce the immediate availability of research versions of our Fetch and Freight robots.

Fetch, an advanced mobile manipulator and Freight, a mobile base, were designed by Fetch Robotics to address the logistics industry, but are applicable across a wide range of research initiatives.

Several institutions already have Fetch on the way.

“My students and I can’t wait to get our hands on Fetch, and since we’ve all got experience using ROS with TurtleBots in the Mobile Robotics class, we’re hoping to be productive from day one. Our project this summer will examine improved techniques for motion planning and trajectory optimization leveraging our lab’s earlier work on CHOMP.”

 

Matt Zucker, Assistant Professor

Engineering Department, Swarthmore College

The research edition of Fetch and Freight are ready to go right out of the box. Each research robot is installed with Ubuntu Linux LTS, ROS, ROS Navigation, MoveIt!, joystick teleop, and calibration. As Fetch and Freight are built using the open source robot operating system ROS, the research community can benefit from existing ROS capabilities and advance that software through the use of an advanced mobile manipulation platform and accompanying base.

For individuals and institutions interested in purchasing Fetch and Freight please email sales@fetchrobotics.com for more information.

Both Fetch and Freight will be display next week at ICRA in booth 231.

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Fetch Robotics Unveils Robotics System for Logistics Industry

More and more, when consumers or businesses place an order they want those items delivered immediately. Between services such as Amazon Prime, Google Express, eBay Now, and the continuing growth of e-commerce, there is a consumer expectation of speed and efficiency that is putting significant pressure on the role of logistics and e-commerce warehouses. To address this challenge, Fetch Robotics today introduced a robotics system designed for the logistics industry.

“The growth of e-commerce and mobile e-commerce is pressuring retailers to invest in solutions that can handle the burdens of an on-demand economy,” according to Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics. “We see our robots as a key ingredient for warehouses that are looking to become more efficient with respect to fulfillment and customer satisfaction.”

The Fetch Robotics’ system is comprised of a mobile base (called Freight) and an advanced mobile manipulator (called Fetch). Fetch and Freight can also use a charging dock for autonomous continuous operations; allowing the robots to charge when needed and then continue on with their tasks. In addition, the system includes accompanying software to support the robots and integrate with the warehouse environment. Both robots are built upon the open source robot operating system, ROS.

The robots are designed to work autonomously alongside workers, performing repetitive tasks such as warehouse delivery, pick and pack, and more. Fetch and Freight used in tandem are capable of handling the vast majority of all items in a typical warehouse.

Fetch is an advanced mobile manipulator, including features such as:

  • Telescoping spine with variable height from 1.09 to 1.491 meters
  • Capacity to lift approximately 6 kgs.
  • 3D RGB Depth Sensor
  • Back-Drivable 7DOF Arm
  • Modular Gripper Interface
  • Head Expansion Mount Points
  • Pan-Tilt Head
  • Differential Drive
  • ROS-Enabled

Freight is a modular base, used separately or in conjunction with Fetch. Features include:

  • Base Expansion Mount Points
  • Payload support of approximately 68 kgs.
  • 2D Laser Scanner
  • Stereo Speaker
  • Computer Access Panel
  • Run-Stop
  • ROS-Enabled

“Consumers are increasingly acting like impatient toddlers when it comes to delivery; they want their purchases and they want them now,” said Rob Coneybeer, Managing Director at Shasta Ventures. “As a result of this trend, commercial order fulfillment is becoming more and more challenging for retailers. A robotic system such as the one from Fetch Robotics can address these issues and ultimately lead to healthier margins, competitive advantage, and satisfied customers.”

Availability
The robots will be on display at ICRA, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s flagship conference on May 26-30, 2015 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington. For sales & pilot program inquiries, please contact sales@fetchrobotics.com.

About Fetch Robotics
Fetch Robotics builds robot systems for the logistics industry. The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in San Jose, CA. For more information, please visit www.fetchrobotics.com or follow the company on Twitter @FetchRobotics.

Press Contact:
Tim Smith
Element Public Relations
415-350-3019
tsmith@elementpr.com

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Fetch Robotics Secures $3M Funding From O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Shasta Ventures

Fetch Robotics today announced that it has raised $3 million in Series A financing from O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV) and Shasta Ventures. Fetch Robotics will use the funding to bring their inaugural robots to market. The robots will provide solutions for the logistics and light industrial markets, as well as for other human-robot collaboration opportunities.

Melonee Wise has been named CEO of the company.  Prior to joining Fetch Robotics, Melonee was CEO and co-founder of Unbounded Robotics. Before that, Melonee spent approximately six years at the pioneering personal robotics company Willow Garage. All told, Melonee has nearly 15 years working in both entrepreneurial and engineering roles in the robotics industry, on both robotic hardware and software.

The first robots from Fetch Robotics will be introduced in Q2 of this year. To be notified when the robots are available, please email sales@fetchrobotics.com.

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity for Shasta to invest in Fetch, as I’ve been passionate about robotics for many years. The team, product, market opportunity, and timing are all in alignment for Fetch to be successful.”
Rob Coneybeer, Managing Director at Shasta Ventures

“Fetch is comprised of a top-notch team focused on a substantial problem. They have both the entrepreneurial and technical know-how in order to solve some pressing problems in the world of logistics and light industry.”
Bryce Roberts, Managing Director at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures

“Businesses and economic forces are charging ahead to make the world all on-demand all the time. The implications to the logistics industry given this trend are substantial and my team and I look forward to helping businesses address those challenges.”
Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics

Fetch Robotics is comprised of an experienced team of roboticists, spanning hardware, software, and design.  The forthcoming robots will utilize and build upon ROS, the open source robot operating system.

Press Contact:
Tim Smith
Element Public Relations
415-350-3019
tsmith@elementpr.com