Renault Unveils Robot-Run Fully Automated Logistics Site

Renault's new logistics site in northern France runs entirely on a fleet of 191 autonomous robots

Ben Wodecki, Junior Editor - AI Business

June 18, 2024

2 Min Read
Three of the 191 Skypod robots in use at Renault’s logistics site in Villeroy
Renault Group

French automaker Renault provided a glimpse into its new entirely automated logistics site operated by a fleet of robots.

Located in Villeroy in northern France, the logistics facility is powered by Skypods, autonomous mobile robots that navigate the site autonomously picking car part orders from shelves.

The site is operated by a fleet of 191 robots that perform a variety of tasks, including packing and inventory management. These robots can pick items from high shelves, reducing the risk of workers falling. They move swiftly around the site, navigating around humans who are also walking around.

Renault’s logistics site handles around 4,000 orders per hour at peak times, with robots fulfilling a customer order in 20 minutes, down from the previous two hours. 

Xavier Lhors, Renault’s director of after-sale logistics, said the automated facility enabled the automaker to increase the number of orders served by 25%.

“We are proud to collaborate with Exotec to equip our supply chain with Skypod robots, positioning our Villeroy site at the forefront of innovation,” Lhors said.

Across the facility, item pallets are placed into 15-gallon trays, which are then transported by Skypod robots.

When a customer order is received, one of the robots is assigned the task of collecting the specified items and bringing them to the picking stations.

Related:Humanoid Robot Joins Automaker’s Production Line

Once the items are prepared, the packages are transported to the shipping area before being sealed and routed to be loaded onto trucks.

Renault said its use of autonomous picking robots in its parts facility is a world first for a car manufacturer.

Exotec’s Skypod robots are square units that can move along the ground on wheels at speeds of up to 13 feet per second. They can also climb up the 39 feet via rails to pick items from shelves.

The robots require just five minutes of charging for every hour of operation. They can be programmed to prioritize urgent orders.

Operators can add or remove units from their fleet in minutes without disrupting operations.

Businesses can also rent Skypods to add extra units during peak shopping seasons or high inventory periods.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Junior Editor - AI Business

Ben Wodecki is the junior editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to junior editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others.

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