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Kindred’s INDUCT Aims to Automate Parcel, Post and E-Commerce Induction

Kindred Induct400x275

March 22, 2022

Kindred has announced its INDUCT system, an AI-powered robotic workcell  designed to automate the small parcel induction process. The system aims to help parcel, post, and e-commerce fulfillment companies alleviate capacity shortages and increase capacity to address supply chain challenges.

Built on Kindred’s proprietary CORE/AutoGrasp artificial intelligence platform, the INDUCT robotic system is a high-speed workcell that identifies items and determines how to handle them (known as induction). The system can accurately pick, maneuver and place items onto a moving belt, bomb bay, or tilt sorter, Kindred said. The platform combines AI-powered machine vision, grasping, and manipulation algorithms to handle parcels of varying size, fragility, and materials.

“Kindred INDUCT is a highly intelligent robotic system that modernizes induction processes so customers can meet the breakneck pace of consumer demand for e-commerce shipments,” said Marin Tchakarov, CEO of Kindred. “The proprietary Kindred Core/AutoGrasp reinforcement learning platform is continuously improving, becoming smarter, faster, and more efficient as it learns from millions of picks across our fleet of deployed robots every day.”

Starting with “a cluttered avalanche of parcels,” the INDUCT in-feed system separates items from a chute onto a series of belts, dividing and unstacking pieces into two organized streams, Kindred said. Through adaptive motion control, two synchronized robotic arms pick up each item at the precise speed and grip required for its shape and weight, and place it on a free space on the moving sorter. A five-sided built-in scanning system captures barcodes as items move down the sorter, regardless of orientation.

“AI and reinforcement learning is in Kindred’s DNA and embedded in all our products,” said Anne Marie Neatham, chief operating officer at Kindred. “Those capabilities enabled us to quickly solve the engineering challenge of automating induction – a more challenging process than picking and sorting due to the unstructured and unpredictable dynamics of handling parcels.”

Kindred said the INDUCT system can:

  • Grasp and maneuver items up to 4 kg (8 lbs.) with several shapes, surface textures and materials, including rigid packaging and loose plastic;
  • Induct with a throughput of 1,600 to 2,000 picks per hours;
  • Fit within the confines of most induction workstations with a footprint of 2.7 meters by 1.4 meters (8 feet, 10 inches by 4 feet, 6 inches).

The company added that numerous INDUCT workcells can perform collaboratively along the same fulfillment line to maximize productivity and integrate with different communication protocols, customizations, and customer and warehouse management systems. The company can also develop customized screens for cycle reporting, performance statistics, and parameter configuration.

More details on the system are available at this Kindred website.

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