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GreyOrange and Vicarious launch autonomous vertical pick-and-pack solution for apparel

GreyOrange, a provider of AI-enabled software and robotics for fulfillment automation, is partnering with Vicarious, an AI robotic integrator that automates tasks too versatile and complex to be handled by traditional, hard-coded automation systems.

Together Vicarious and GreyOrange have launched what they say is “the industry’s first and only autonomous vertical picking solution for automated pick-n-pack operations in omnichannel fulfillment”.

Autonomous Vertical Picking from Vicarious interfaces smoothly into a global workflow orchestrated by GreyOrange’s GreyMatter Fulfillment Operating System (FOS), which uses advanced science to continuously evaluate order fulfillment performance and prioritize decisions and workflows.

At the beginning of the process, GreyOrange’s Ranger GTP robots (Goods-To-Person) bring inventory on Mobile Stock Units (MSUs) to the pick-pack station.

There, the Autonomous Vertical Picking solution perceives the size, shape and material characteristics of inventory items, including when these are loosely positioned in an unstructured fashion, eliminating the need to create fixture definitions and programming.

The solution then applies the appropriate motion to approach, retrieve and place items into order boxes.

Autonomous Vertical Picking can handle all kinds of inventory, including small and delicate individual items, or “eaches”, folded stacks of apparel “eaches” and bagged or unbagged apparel.

Dileep George, co-founder and CTO of Vicarious, says: “Vicarious’ computer-vision and robotics technology is a breakthrough in the ability to handle unstructured, previously hard-to-grasp items. Combined with GreyOrange’s knowhow in fulfillment workflows we can offer a game-changing solution to the industry.”

While other autonomous picking solutions perform overhead downward picking from totes holding single items, this launch marks the first solution able to pick a variety of dissimilar inventory items stored in vertical Mobile Stock Units.

It works alongside people in the distribution center, augmenting capacity while enabling the human workforce to maintain safe physical distances from each other.

Akash Gupta, co-founder and CTO for GreyOrange, says: “This partnership expands the autonomous picking capabilities of our GreyMatter platform, enabling fulfillment centers to operate at higher throughputs without interruption.

“Using AI-driven software combined with smart robots can help ecommerce and omnichannel players increase the efficiency of their operations by 300 to 400 percent while also providing safe and socially-distanced work environments for their associates. This type of fulfillment technology gives them an edge over their competition when it comes to managing pace and talent.”

The key benefits of Autonomous Vertical Picking include:

  • efficiency – overall solution improves capacity and reduces fulfillment costs for customers;
  • safety – enables human workforce to maintain safe physical distance, reduces repetitive tasks; and
  • sustainability – capable of handling bagged or unbagged apparel items to reduce plastic waste.
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