April 14, 2021

PickleRobotDill400x275Pickle Robot Co. has released a video showing off details of its Dill robot, which can unload boxes from messy trailers at a rate of more than 1,600 picks per hour. The company’s Trailer Unload configuration will be available for reservations in June, with shipping expected in 2022.

To maintain these speeds, Pickle said Dill needs people to supervise the operation and lend an occasional helping hand, stepping in every so often to pick up any dropped packages and handle irregular items. This also saves employees’ backs and reduces the costs associated with labor, mis-sorts, damaged items, and trucks leaving late. The company added that when the robot is able to remove a bottleneck at a loading dock, the throughput of the whole building will go up.

“We designed people into the system from the get go and focused on a specific problem: package handling in the loading dock,” said Andrew Meyer, CEO of Pickle Robot. “We got out of the lab and put robots to work in real warehouses. We resisted the fool’s errand of trying to create a system that could work entirely unsupervised or solve every robotics problem out there.”

 

 

The company said the solution can inexpensively retrofit existing operations to improve the processing rate of the entire facility. “At Pickle, we think of our robots less like Terminators and more like sled dogs,” said Ariana Eisenstein, CTO and co-founder of Pickle. “No one expects a team of dogs to run the Iditarod on their own, they’d run into trouble in just minutes.” After spending months inside warehouses observing operations, the Pickle engineers realized operations would grind to a halt if you tried to completely replace people with robots.

“We’ve made the robot smart enough to roll up and do the job, eliminating the extensive customization and process overhauling that typically goes along with automation,” said Meyer. “That means we can lower the cost barrier to adoption by as much as 90% and serve customers who might assume robotics is beyond their reach.” 

More details about Dill and the company can be found at the Pickle Robot website.