In the usual context, the action of identifying an object, picking it, and placing it in another place is a trivial task for most humans. However, when it comes to robots, the simplistic action would need an amalgamation of state-of-the-art machine intelligence and robotic manipulation.
To solve this hurdle, researchers have successfully developed a technology that includes robotic piece-picking systems aimed towards merging artificial intelligence and machine vision with gripper designs. The new technology could potentially boost the Picking Robots Market as it brings forth a way for companies to sort out products and get orders through the door in an efficient manner.
The task of picking and sorting might look like one that can be done by humans easily. However, the same becomes a hard feat to manage when there are more than 100,000 thousand orders involved. All different products would be required to store in a facility with the structure of 10 – 20 football fields while keeping the delivery expectation time in mind. The situation is impossible for humans to manage and would lead to several errors as well.
RightHand Robotics-led robotic system, on the other hand, could help companies better respond to two trends that have revolutionized the whole retail operations. First is the explosion of e-commerce, further boosted by the advent of the coronavirus pandemic. Second is the just-in-time inventory fulfillment in which grocery stores, apparel companies, and pharmacies restock items after analyzing the purchases that have been made on that given day or the whole week, thereby increasing efficiency.
In addition, the robot fleets collect data facilitating its owner-company (RightHand Robotics) to enhance its systems with time and help it learn new skills such as careful and precise placement of packages. Further, the process and performance data fed within the fleet management software of the company helps customers get an idea of how the inventory moves through the warehouse so that bottlenecks and quality problems can be easily identified.
The objective of the new robot is that instead of enhancing one aspect of operations, e-commerce companies can set out to modify the whole operational flow within the warehouse. The changes could eliminate variability, making the functioning of the warehouse feasible, simple, and streamlined. The center of this robotic solution lies in the way machine vision and intelligent grippers have been used to build more adaptable piece-picking robots.
The novel technology also makes use of an end-of-arm tool that integrates under-actuated fingers with suction. Thus, giving robots better flexibility instead of having them rely completely on the suction cup or pinching grippers.
The breakthrough made by the team is amazing as it means that robot systems can be easily drop-shipped anywhere in the world and ran with minimum customization. In the forthcoming years, it could be possible for them to arrive in a simple box to their owners.
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