IAM Robotics awarded first patent for warehouse picking robots
Robotics industry moves further into robotics for warehousing and distribution applications
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IAM Robotics, a Pittsburgh startup that develops and sells autonomous material handling robots, announced today that it has been allowed a key patent that will be issued on October 10, 2017 as U.S. Patent No. 9,785,911.
The patent specifies a system and method for piece-picking or put-away with a mobile manipulation robot. The patent focuses on the underlying system and methods for the Swift Solution Suite, which powers IAM
Robotics’ world’s-first mobile picking robot. This technology enables their robots to autonomously navigate human-friendly environments, identify the location of objects, and pick individual items or bins. It has already been deployed at a Rochester Drug Cooperative facility in Rochester, New York.
This comes at a time when the US is facing a nationwide labor shortage of workers to fill material handling jobs. Logistics and manufacturing companies are also facing increasing pressures on cost and delivery times from rapidly changing consumer demands. For employees, these changes demand increased productivity rates and hours. Additionally, many in the warehouse workforce still spend most of their time walking from one item to the next. The result is unhappy employees with turnover rates harmful to businesses.
According to the company. robotics in the warehouse and distribution center is at a tipping point. Its products address these concerns by letting robots do both the walking and picking, freeing workers to focus on more value-added activities. In the warehouse automation market, current solutions range from transporting stored goods to human pickers, to using customized picking equipment and transport infrastructure.
The former solution does not do enough to address labor concerns and the latter requires expensive capital investments that limits an organization’s flexibility and ability to react to changing market conditions. This new patent helps IAM Robotics provide a solution that addresses both the need for labor and low-cost automation. “The intellectual property we’ve developed and our solutions enable our customers to meet demand through a historic labor shortage in the supply chain,” says IAM Robotics founder and CEO, Tom Galluzzo. “This problem will continue to grow, so our robots have arrived just in time. We also continue to add to our IP portfolio with technologies for the near future that allow warehouses to focus not only on throughput, but to grow their business by focusing on higher-value services like last mile delivery and offering a wider variety of items. The ultimate benefits will pass through to the consumer and our early customers will be rewarded for that.”
The patent that will be issued expands the company’s patent portfolio for unique designs that enable mobile robotic picking and transportation. IAM Robotics currently holds U.S. Pat. No. 9,519,882 and other, multiple patents pending. IAM’s team of world-class roboticists and systems developers are focused on delivering innovation and operational value that will transform the material handling industry.
For more information, visit www.iamrobotics.com.
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