Virtual reality tech could transform warehouses

Many people associate virtual reality (VR) gadgets with video games, but in the future, they may play a role in the warehouse.

VR headsets are used to play games on consoles like PlayStations, along with computers, but many industries are now looking at how to use them in the factory and warehouse.

Forklift trucks could be driven remotely by workers wearing VR. This could be a way for forklift drivers to remotely work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. A disabled person that cannot physically drive a vehicle could also be trained to control a forklift using VR.

In addition, VR has a role to play in training. Creating a virtual warehouse enables warehouse workers to train safely. They can learn how to manually handle items without risk of muscle injury whilst training.

A new warehouse design can be modelled virtually in 3D, complete with virtual racks, storage trolleys, packing tables and forklifts. The configuration of warehouse equipment can be tested in this virtual environment. Different shelving arrangements can be tried out and picking routes tested. VR helps modify initial designs in order to create better functioning warehouse systems.

VR can also help identify areas in the warehouse that need improvement, and it can look at better ways to improve picking and packing performance.

It’s early days for VR technology, and there are not a large number of warehouses currently utilising it. As the technology develops, however, there could come a day when warehouse equipment suppliers stock virtual reality systems as standard items for every warehouse.

Posted by Derek
18th January 2021
Retail & Warehousing

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