Warehouse automation vendor IAM Robotics said Tuesday it landed a patent for technology allowing its mobile material handling robots to move through DCs and pick inventory in e-commerce fulfillment operations.
Pittsburgh-based IAM Robotics makes a mobile picking robot that can autonomously navigate human-friendly environments, identify the location of objects, and pick individual items or bins, the company says. Its latest patent specifies a system and method for piece picking or putaway with a mobile manipulation robot, which is the underlying system for IAM Robotics' Swift Solution Suite product.
In IAM Robotics' system, the Swift robot is part of an order fulfillment solution that also includes a three-dimensional item scanner called IAM Flash and a fleet management software platform called SwiftLink. Together, they enable the robot to pick at or above human-level speeds, allowing users to streamline operations and meet the demands of e-commerce, the company says.
The technology is intended to serve logistics and manufacturing companies that face cost and delivery pressures from changing consumer demands, even as they struggle with a shortage of workers to fill material handling jobs, IAM Robotics founder and CEO Tom Galluzzo said in a statement. Warehouse automation systems can provide a solution by letting robots do both the walking and the picking, freeing workers to focus on more value-added services such as providing last-mile delivery and offering a wider variety of items, Galluzzo said.