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Hänel launches hands-free AR device for use with automated vertical storage

Hänel Storage Systems, a leader in the manufacture and integration of automated vertical storage units, has announced Augmented Reality (AR) features for use in conjunction with its storage systems.

Through the use of wireless “data eyeglasses” and Pick-by-Voice, a Hänel Lean-Lift Vertical Lift Module (VLM) can be operated hands-free, without the use of a system controller or keyboard.

The optical AR device uses voice commands to accomplish data input and item selection. While wearing the AR display, users can view all relevant data and information regarding a stored item, including its description, photograph and stored location.

Once an item is requested via voice command, the storage system automatically brings it to the access point for retrieval.

The item’s position on the shelf can then be identified by Hänel Pick-o-Light, a movable LED unit inside the access point that shines a targeted beam of light precisely on the specific item awaiting retrieval.

This AR system allows users to focus their full attention on the picking process without the need to handle notes or other paperwork.

When used in conjunction with Pick-o-Light, the system drastically minimises the risk of human picking errors.

Hänel storage units and AR glasses can be linked to various ERP systems through an integrated Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) interface, which allows programs on different operating systems to communicate.

“In the warehouse environment, Augmented Reality devices show clear advantages,” said Craig Sinclair, manager of systems integration.

“Efficiency gains made by keeping your hands free to do other tasks, especially in dangerous environments, and time savings by directing employees quickly to the next task are large steps forward.

“Future applications that can livestream a task to improve accuracy and augmented vision capabilities that can quickly help new staff are right around the corner.”

Hänel will exhibit and provide product demonstrations of the new Augmented Reality system during ProMat 2019 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL on April 8-11, 2019.

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