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These beefy autonomous warehouse robots can carry up to 3,300 pounds at a time

Yes, they may look like a pair of particularly beefy contestants from Robot Wars, but the newly-announced Freight 500 and Freight 1500 are actually a pretty darn impressive duo of transportation robots — designed to ferry cargoes of up to 1,100 lbs (for the Freight 500) or up to 3,300 lbs (for its bigger brother) around warehouses. Just don’t get on their wrong side!

“Fetch Robotics creates Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) and the software that manages them for the warehouse and logistics industry,” Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics, told Digital Trends. “Like their predecessor, Freight, [the Freight500 and the Freight1500] are designed to follow warehouse workers as they complete their tasks of picking items from warehouse shelves. Fetch robots can dynamically navigate a warehouse rather than following a fixed route, and contain sensors to avoid obstacles. The new robots address the full range of a warehouse’s needs for conveying everything from pieces to cases and pallets.”

Despite being able to ferry around hefty cargoes, the robots themselves are just 14 inches tall. They move using LiDAR sensors at the front and rear, as well as an RGBD camera, while battery life is a not-unimpressive 9 hours. Even when you do run out of battery, recharging to 90 percent takes only one hour — so your warehouse won’t grind to a halt for the rest of the day while they power up again. Get a few them working together and you should have no problem setting up a facility that can work 24/7.

Currently the two robots are having final touches made, before they roll for a pilot scheme in the “next three to four months.” After that, they’ll be generally available to the market.

At which point our application process to get the Freight1500 on the next series of Robot Wars can truly begin in earnest!

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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