April 5, 2022
Konoike Transport, OSARO and inVia Robotics have teamed up on a new project to showcase a prototype of an automated warehouse where autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) work together with picking robots. The system is optimized for warehouse and e-commerce applications that involve large SKU inventories, and will take place at the Konoike Institute of Technology Innovation Center (KITC) in Japan.
The pilot aims to demonstrate automation of logistics processes by linking inVia’s AMRs with OSARO’s piece-picking robots to provide a smooth path from warehouse inventory to packing and shipping operations. The process includes:
- An AMR locating the shelf in the warehouse where required items are stored;
- Retrieving the correct inventory storage bin and carrying it to a pick-and-place robot station;
- The picking robot then picks the item from the inventory storage bin and places it in a different bin, ready for shipment.
The picking robot features OSARO’s advanced AI vision system, which enables the robot to perform advanced pick-and-place operations by recognizing transparent, deformed, reflective, and irregularly shaped items – even if they are randomly arranged in the inventory storage bins.
The companies said the prototype aims to prove that tasks such as inventory movement and picking items for order fulfillment can be fully automated. In addition, they hope to identify issues that arise when multiple robotics automation solutions are interacting, and to resolve those issues ahead of any planned operational deployment.
“We are honored to be the first in Japan to conduct a demonstration prototype of an OSARO picking solution with an AMR,” said Tadatsugu Konoike, director and senior managing executive officer at Konoike Transport. “We decided to work with OSARO because we believe that OSARO is superior for use in the rapidly changing logistics field in terms of automatic machine learning, data collection, and accurate picking. Japan is facing a shortage of labor due to the declining birthrate and aging population, but we hope to turn this challenge into an opportunity and develop a new form of workplace at KITIC and introduce it to the world.”
“OSARO is excited to partner with Konoike and inVia to demonstrate a unique combination of inVia’s AMR and OSARO’s piece-picking robots,” added Derik Pridmore, CEO of OSARO. “The system we created is an example of a modular, flexible, and brownfield-compatible fulfillment system. Future warehouses will leverage systems like this to scale up for increasing demand from customers without requiring hiring additional manual labor.”