June 17, 2021
Berkshire Grey, which develops AI-enabled robotic solutions that automate supply chain processes, has launched the next generation of its Intelligent Enterprise Robotic (IER) picking and mobility solutions that utilize mobile robots. The company said the robots offer increased fulfillment throughput at a lower cost point to enable shorter delivery times and support more SKUs.
The company said unlike fixed conveyor belts and early generation mobile robots, the Berkshire Grey intelligent fleet can harness AI to orchestrate tens to thousands of mobile robots to pick, organize and deliver items for customer and store orders.
“Rapid delivery for virtually any product is now table stakes for fulfillment, and the market has not offered powerful solutions to enable most businesses to meet this need,” said Kevin Prouty, vice president at IDC. “Companies like Berkshire Grey that have deep IP can have a large advantage in orchestrating tens to thousands of mobile robots, to pick millions of SKUs, and enable a company to significantly accelerate throughput at an attractive capital expenditure. Innovations like these help companies to meet increasing consumer expectation and to do so in a competitive fashion.”
Berkshire Grey’s orchestration software enables multiple robots to work together in a performant fashion, where robots improve and learn over time, and activities carried out by robots and modules are coordinated. The company said its fleet of mobile robots can:
- Integrate robotic picking with mobile robots to increase automation levels and fulfillment speeds.
- Transform any facility into a high throughput fulfillment system with minimal disruption to existing operations. Facilities can deploy the new robot systems in both existing and new fulfillment centers in one third of the time of legacy systems.
- Handle greater SKU coverage, including heavier items, non-conveyables, and challenging items such as shrink-wrapped packages (dog food bags, glass, water bottle packs, etc.)
- Utilize storage locations as “robot highways” to handle diverse SKUs directly, with robots that can rotate and adjust positions, pass under shelves and conveyor belts, and function without a tray or tote container in order to enable speedier throughput and reduce process costs.
“We developed this next generation of IER solutions to achieve higher throughput at lower cost in a third of the deployment time,” said Steve Johnson, president and COO of Berkshire Grey. “Berkshire Grey’s industrial-grade mobile robots work together at unprecedented scale to deliver a step-change in speed and intelligence for any fulfillment center. Best of all, our software gets smarter over time, speeding efficiencies, while enabling maximum flexibility for businesses to meet rapidly changing consumer demands.”
The company said its automated solutions are dynamically reconfigurable, and available through a robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) implementation. RaaS lets customers accelerate adoption of the technology without upfront capital expenditures, Berkshire Grey said.
For more details on the new systems, visit the Berkshire Grey website. Earlier this year, the company entered into a definitive agreement with Revolution Acceleration Acquisition Corp (RAAC), which is expected to result in Berkshire Grey becoming a publicly listed company early in Q3 2021, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.