Automated warehouse picking startup RightHand Robotics Inc. today introduced RightPick, a piece-picking robot that is designed for fulfillment centers trying to balance the fast growth in e-commerce with a shrinking workforce.
The Somerville, Mass.-based company also announced it has landed $8 million in venture funding and would deploy the new capital to expand product development, hiring, and marketing. RightHand Robotics first emerged from stealth mode in January when it demonstrated its each-picking robotic arm to attendees at the National Retail Federation's (NRF's) annual convention in New York City.
The RightPick product is a hardware and software solution that uses a sensorized robot hand combined with a machine-learning back end. The system works in concert with all industry-leading robotic arms, giving it the flexibility to handle thousands of different items, RightHand Robotics said.
The system's core competency is picking the individual items known in logistics as "pieces," the company said. Those single-SKU and piecemeal items are the core of e-commerce fulfillment and can demand more attention than traditional warehouse quantities of bulk or pallet-load handling.
Users can deploy the RightPick tool for warehouse tasks in a variety of workflows, such as sorting batch-picked items, picking items from automatic storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), inducting items to a unit sorter, and order quality assurance. Compared to performing those jobs with manual labor, the solution can reduce the cost and improve the reliability of e-commerce order fulfillment for pharmaceuticals, electronics, grocery, apparel, and other industries, according to RightHand Robotics.
"The supply chain of the future is more about pieces than pallets," RightHand Robotics co-founder Leif Jentoft said in a release. "RightHand can help material handling, third-party logistics providers (3PLs), and e-commerce warehouses lower costs by increasing automation."
The venture capital funding for RightHand Robotics came from a group led by Playground Global LLC, with additional support from Matrix Partners, Seven Seas Partners, Dream Incubator, and unspecified angel investors.