AI-enabled robotic order picker

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

ABB Robotics has launched a Robotic Item Picker – a new AI and vision-based solution that can detect and pick items in unstructured environments in warehouses and fulfillment centres. 

Using machine vision and artificial intelligence, the Item Picker determines the best grasp points for each item before the suction gripper picks up and places the item into designated bins. The system does not require any human supervision or information about the physical attributes of the items it picks. With a picking rate of up to 1,400 items per hour, businesses can handle more orders without increasing headcount or time. 

“The explosion of e-commerce, changing consumer demands, and global labour shortages are driving the need for flexible automated solutions that make order fulfillment and distribution faster and more efficient,” said Daniel Navarro, managing director of consumer segments and service robotics at ABB Robotics.

“With its ability to learn and adapt in constantly changing warehouse environments, our AI-enabled Robotic Item Picker sees items and decides how to pick them, at speed with more than 99.5 percent efficiency, helping businesses overcome these challenges and build resilience.”   

With a robot, suction grippers, and a proprietary machine vision software, the Robotic Item Picker automates complex picking and placing tasks of a range of items including cuboids, cylinders, pouches, boxes, polybags, and blister packs, which otherwise require the dexterity and flexibility of humans.  

Suitable for a range of loads and applications, the Robotic Item Picker can be fitted to one of three ABB robots – the IRB1200, IRB 1300, and IRB 2600. With a payload of up to three kilograms and a reach of up to 1.65 metres, the Item Picker offers the flexibility required to meet many different needs in order fulfillment and sortation. 

The Item Picker can be integrated into existing automated storage and retrieval solutions, such as shuttle, cubic and 3D storage solutions.  

The Item Picker is controlled by an easy-to-use application software that integrates all parts of the system, and interacts with other peripheral equipment, enabling customers and partners to add components and other functions. ABB also offers a suite of services for the entire package, including Service Agreements, online training, preventive maintenance, and technical online support.