As seen at Manifest this week, piece picking remains a challenge for robotics, but interest has grown because of labor shortages. Last month, RightHand Robotics Inc. released the RightPick 4 system for picking larger and heavier items than previous models.
The latest robot includes new sensors and software to expand the range of items it can pick, according to the Charlestown, Mass.-based company. RightHand’s offerings include RightPick 4, the RightPick Fleet Management software, and RightCare service and support.
RightPick serves industries such as pharmaceutical, e-commerce, apparel, third-party logistics (3PL), and grocery. RightHand said its systems can be integrated with other warehouse automation, including autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), auto-baggers, sortation systems, and automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS). Element Logic, SVT Robotics, and Vanderlande are among the company’s partners.
Built In recently named RightHand Robotics with its 2024 Best Places to Work Awards for the list of “Best Startups to Work For” and “Best Places to Work in Boston.” The company was also an RBR50 honoree in 2018 and 2019.
A closer look at RightPick 4
How much more can RightPick 4 handle in comparison with RightPick 3?
Compared with the RightPick 3, the RightPick 4 system can handle items up to 25% larger and 50% heavier, from 2 kg to 3 kg [4.4 to 6.6 lb.]. This information, when applied to regular items in a warehouse, includes items as small as a matchbox to as large as a shoebox.
What hardware has RightHand changed in this system?
The hardware advancements made with the RightPick 4 system include a new industrial vision system designed specifically for piece-picking and developed in-house, a more modular control stack that enables greater flexibility with physical integration, and a suction cup swapper that allows us to use the optimal suction cup for each item and expands the pickable range of every single robot station.
How does RightPick 4’s software widen the range of items it can handle?
The new software features of RightPick 4 were designed and developed to address specific challenges that our customers encounter with autonomous order-fulfillment workflows.
A major goal and achievement was to greatly expand the range of items pickable by a single robot station and to adapt to the ever-changing SKU sets with our “model-free” approach.
RightHand builds for flexibility, reliability
Did RightHand add any features in response to customer requests?
Based on feedback from our customers, we purposefully developed capabilities to pick large and weirdly-shaped items.
Examples of item sets that we can now handle reliably with the RightPick 4 system include items in poly bags or blister packs, large coffee containers and cereal boxes, eye-liner pencils, and tubes of lip balm. It can also handle items as large and heavy as reams of paper or jugs of laundry detergent and thousands of other unique SKUs!
The company said RightPick 4 has “increased autonomy” — does that mean fewer redirects or manual interventions?
Increased autonomy has been achieved through software features, like more advanced picking strategies, multi-item pick detection, and improved segmentation. All combined, we have reduced the overall amount of manual interventions by up to 80%.
With our proprietary gripper and significant AI advancements, combined with our systems-level approach, we developed features that require little to no human intervention for exception handling. This results in a 50% improvement to order quality metrics like item drops, multi-item picks, and improved item placement.
Customers can expect a more robust system that requires less maintenance and maximizes uptime.