AI-powered mobile robots

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Berkshire Grey has launched a new generation of Intelligent Enterprise Robotic (IER) picking and mobility solutions which incorporate a new generation of mobile robots.

mobile warehouse robot
The mobility platform allows the robots to move totes.

The explosive growth of e-commerce over the course of the pandemic has driven retailers, grocers, and third-party logistics providers to invest in transforming operations to meet soaring consumer expectations. Today’s businesses must overcome complex logistical hurdles to fulfill orders for any product in a variety of ways including curbside pickup, buy online pickup in store, and same- or next-day delivery.

As a result, fulfillment operations seek to handle a wider variety of SKUs with increased throughput using a variety of models including back-of-store, micro-fulfillment centres, and full-scale distribution centres.

The AI-based orchestration software enables many robots to work together so the robots improve and learn over time, and where the activities carried out by different robots and modules are coordinated.

robot picking an order in a warehouse
Direct-to-consumer picking.

The intelligent fleets of mobile robots can:

  • Integrate robotic picking with mobile robots to increase automation levels and fulfillment speeds.
  • Transform a facility into a high throughput fulfillment system with minimal disruption to existing operations. Facilities can deploy the new robot systems in both existing and new fulfillment centres in a third of the time of legacy systems.
  • Handle greater SKU coverage than legacy systems – including heavier items, non-conveyables, and challenging items like shrink-wrapped packages (e.g., dog food bags, glass, water bottle packs).
  • Perform faster and more flexibly than traditional approaches – conducting any-induct-to-any-discharge organization of goods and incorporating intelligent on-field storage supporting many use cases.
  • Use storage locations as robot highways and to handle diverse SKUs directly – the new robots can rotate and adjust positions, pass under shelves and conveyor belts, and function without a tray or tote container – all of which enable speedier throughput and reduced process costs.

“We developed this next generation of IER solutions to achieve higher throughput at lower cost in a third of the deployment time,” said Steve Johnson, Berkshire Grey president and COO.

“Berkshire Grey’s industrial-grade mobile robots work together at unprecedented scale to deliver a step-change in speed and intelligence for any fulfillment center. Best of all, our software gets smarter over time, speeding efficiencies, while enabling maximum flexibility for businesses to meet rapidly changing consumer demands.”

Berkshire Grey’s automated solutions are dynamically reconfigurable and available as Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS).