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Supply Chain News: FedEx Collaborating with Dexterity AI on Trailer Loading Robots


Work Still to be Done to Get to Commercialization AI-based Technology

Sept. 27, 2023


SCDigest Editorial Staff

FedEx and robotics company Dexterity AI announced a partnership this week relative to automated loading of floor-loaded cartons in a truck trailer.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

The robots work in tandem with a powered conveyor on which the robots receive the cartons to be selected.

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Details are modest, but it appears FedEx has entered into a joint development agreement to advance Dexterity’s solution. The two firms said that under the agreement FedEx would “collaborate” on Dexterity AI’s technology, which appears to be still in the early phases.

That conclusion comes after the two companies further said that FedEx is performing on-going testing of the Dexterity robots, with a goal to refine the technology and “deploy commercially in the future.”


The announcement was made at the companies’ joint event “Unlock the Dock” in San Francisco on Tuesday, during which the new technology was unveiled, supported by a press release. Dexterity is headquartered in nearby Redwood City, CA.

The press release notes the process of loading floor-loaded cartons has long been recognized as slow and cumbersome. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the boxes to be unloaded generally vary significantly in size and weight, and due to the need for building “tight” carton walls in the trailer.

Dexterity AI claims to have a solution that will take care of the problem through new AI-powered robotics.

According to the press release, Dexterity’s system uses robotic arms that are powered by a suite of intelligence tools that include “the ability to see, touch, think, and move quickly to pack trailers with stable, dense walls of randomized boxes.”

Dexterity says its DexR robots are mobile and navigate autonomously to the back of trailers to place cartons. The robots work in tandem with a powered conveyor on which the robots receive the cartons to be selected.

The company says DexR’s uses a two-arm design that enables the robots to pick andstore boxes simultaneously, improving throughput.

Other capabilities claimed by Dexterity include:

Generative Wall Planning: With every new box presented to the DexR, Dexterity’s AI software takes 500 milliseconds or less to assess billions of wall build possibilities to pack trailers with tight, stable walls.

A Sense of Touch: Dexterity AI-powered force control gives robots a unique sense of touch so that they know how to gently nudge boxes together in creating tightly packed walls.


(See More Below)





Machine Learning-Based Pack Improvement: Machine learning helps ensure that with every box picked, the Dexterity AI truck loading software becomes even more efficient in handling a broader range of packing challenges.


Integrated Motion Planning: By integrating its own trajectory and motion planning, the Dexterity AI platform helps the DexR’s two arms move quickly inside trailers without colliding with each other or the truck walls.


Dexterity AI’s Mobile Trailer Loading Robots


A number of other companies are pursuing trailer loading and unloading technology, including Boston Dynamics.

Do you have any thoughts on this Dextrity system? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below (email) or in the Feedback section.




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