A new employee called Toru is starting in Zalando's warehouse in Erfurt, Germany. You might consider this nothing special, but Toru is an autonomous picking robot that can not only move whole boxes, but even individual objects.
"We are currently testing how we can use it as an autonomous picking robot and integrate it into our existing processes," explains Carl-Friedrich zu Knyphausen, head of logistics development, in a statement on zalando.com. Its intelligent camera technology allows the TORU robot to detect individual objects, pick them up and transport them: in Zalando's case the robot moves shoe boxes and clothing items. This is revolutionary because previous robots had only been able to move entire pallets or boxes.
At the end of March Zalando invested 20 million euro in Magazino, which developed the robot. "Logistics is one of our prime jobs," said Zalando's David Schröder at the time. "We believe that bringing employees together with advanced technology will lead us to the best results. Our Magazino investment grants us access to innovative technology, highly compatible with our current infrastructure. It can also be used in a flexible manner to support our employees in distribution centers."