Tokić Is the First Croatian Company to Deploy Fully Autonomous Mobile Robots
Foto: Gideon Brothers
Tokić, a leading Croatian car-parts retailer, has partnered with robotics and AI company Gideon Brothers to deploy autonomous mobile robots in its logistics and distribution center. Tokić is the first Croatian company to implement fully autonomous mobile robots, as part of its plan to streamline its operations and raise productivity ahead of the planned expansion to other EU markets.
Deploying collaborative logistics robots will allow Tokić to raise its capacities and pursue expansion plans in spite of a significant shortage of workers in Croatia’s labor market. Gideon Brothers is one of only three companies globally, and the only one in Europe, that develops autonomous technology with navigation based on visual perception, using stereoscopic cameras underpinned by deep learning.
Gideon’s Advanced Visual Perception autonomy offers a wider range of use-case scenarios because the technology is more robust in terms of localization and object detection than LiDAR-only solutions. Flexibility and efficiency are crucial factors for Tokić, as the company stocks over 200,000 articles, sold through its network of own stores and franchise outlets.
The robot is designed to transport heavy payloads up to 800 kg on standard pallets without the use of guidance mechanisms. The project has not required any changes to Tokić's facilities, and the robot was deployed on real tasks from the first day. In this initial test phase, the robot is carrying loads between two points in the warehouse, at a distance of around 100 meters multiple times per day.
The company is currently exploring two use cases. One engages the robot in service of order fulfillment, delivering articles stored in the warehouse to a packing area near the main loading dock. Workers then take the articles and pack them in boxes intended for shipment. The other employs the robot to deliver packing material for disposal. The deliveries are initiated by Tokić employees, on demand, through an interface application on tablets.
“We are aware that our business environment faces the challenge of significant labor shortage. Tokić hasn’t felt this problem so far, as employee satisfaction has been built into our values from the start. However, the labor market trends are such that we face the risk that, due to a lack of workers in the service industry, we won’t be able to grow at the rates we’ve achieved so far. A strategic approach to adapting to these market trends is an integral part of our business growth strategy, that certainly also envisages new jobs,” Tokić CEO Ivan Gadže said.
“Even today, most of the work being done in modern warehouses and factories is performed by humans. Humans are creative beings. The more creative they are, the happier they become. However, in factories and warehouses their work includes many repetitive, difficult, and dangerous tasks. These jobs are not making humans happier. The technology is revolutionary in our autonomous mobile robotics, but more importantly, it allows humans to focus on the complex activities that they’re good at,” said Matija Kopić, CEO and Co-Founder of Gideon Brothers.