RightHand Robotics is an entity founded by MIT to develop robotic solutions that will assist companies in responding to trending changes in retail operations. Currently, it is into developing robots with built-in piece-picking systems alongside AI-aided machine vision features and unique grippers that will enable them to pick and sort products according to orders.
According to RightHand Robotics co-founder Lael Odhner there is a need to provide an equivalent counterpart to the virtual shopping carts used by consumers when shopping online. As thousands of orders placed online reach the retail warehouses, human pickers of large online outlets that store products in a huge facility, encounter difficulties; navigating their way through hundreds of shelves containing massive assortments of merchandise. What’s making it more difficulty is that there is a time limit as delivery expectations must be met.
How Smart Robot Pickers will Make a Difference for Large Retailers
The need emerged as two comprehensive trends have changed retail operations. The first trend is the just-in-time inventory fulfillment, while the resulting boom in e-commerce borne by the coronavirus pandemic. The just-in-time inventory fulfillment trend, is the same-day or same-week process of restocking items as they are purchased in order to fill stock inventories efficiently.
However, tasks such as recognizing objects, picking them up, and relocating them in their proper places, can be daunting for humans when there are hundreds of shelves and hundred thousands of merchandise to deal with. Robot pickers can provide the solutions, needing only the most updated robotic manipulation mechanisms and machine intelligence to carry out such tasks in a warehouse environment.
As additional benefit a fleet of AI-aided robot pickers also have the ability to gather data that RightHand Robotics can use in developing new skills when upgrading such robots.