Model Scouts tours Robotic warehouse

Today was a school holiday, so Model Scouts headed to Dallas to tour the Mary Kay Cosmetics automated warehouse there. We visited the warehouse that stores products after production¬† but before shipped to the US regional and international distribution centers to fill customer orders. 2 managers walked us through the facility and showed us how their system works. We watched the robotic vehicles move pallets through the warehouse past automated inspection and shrink-wrap stations into holding areas where fast robotic arms picked up pallets and whisked them to high bay storage locations We also watched a mechanic instruct a robotic vehicle after its sensor found an obstacle in its path. We had an open discussion with the control room’s staff on the similarities of our Lego NXT Mindstorm robots with their robotic system. Their system uses metallic lines in the concrete floors for navigation where we tend to use light sensors, motor rotations and table edges to navigate our hobby robots. We were impressed that their system had a greater than 99% system accuracy score each month. Our team robot designs are accurate but not 99% yet! We were surprised to learn that the original Mary Kay automated storage and retrieval system was installed at the warehouse in Dallas in 1987. Thank you Mary Kay for a great tour!

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