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Berkshire Grey launches new mobile robotic platform

Berkshire Grey, a developer of robotic solutions for supply chain processes, has launched its next generation mobile robotic platform, BG Flex.

The platform includes dynamically controlled fleets of Berkshire Grey’s industrial grade mobile robots that work together to induct, transport, sort, sequence, and fulfill items, cases, and containers of merchandise.

The solution is now integrated with new high density buffering capabilities and enhanced goods-to-person and goods-to-robot picking stations in a single, modular package.

With BG Flex, retailers can easily convert any floor into a flexible any-to-any induct-to-discharge sortation system and implement complete fulfillment systems for any environment – from back-of-store to stand alone micro-fulfillment centers to distribution center implementations.

Steve Johnson, president and chief operating officer of Berkshire Grey, says: “Retail enterprises that approach their supply chains holistically can save millions of dollars and take care of customers faster and more profitably by investing in mobile robotic automation.

“This generation of our AI-enabled mobile robotic platform harnesses mobile swarm technology, integrated buffer, and robotic picking along with advances in software and hardware performance that transform fulfillment operations at their core.”

Berkshire Grey says its BG Flex mobile robotic platform transforms fulfillment operations by:

  • Reducing store truck unload and aisle replenishment times with granular pre-sorting.
  • Enabling seamless curbside pick-up and extended BOPIS product selection.
  • Facilitating delivery-route alignment for quick commerce and home delivery.
  • Maximizing transport utilization in delivery networks.
  • Reducing reshelving and maximizing inventory pick station utilization for eCommerce.
  • Automatically integrating resale-ready returned goods with existing inventory.
  • Storing and consolidating partial orders together with filled orders for just-in-time transport loading.
  • Storing, picking, and sorting, with industry-leading goods conveyability.
  • Integrating with Berkshires Grey’s family of AI-enabled robotic picking solutions.

Sankara Narayanan, senior industry analyst, at Frost & Sullivan, says: “More so than other warehouse robotics vendors, Berkshire Grey addresses the intense challenges thrust upon warehouses struggling with essential consumer product deliveries.

“BG customers are well-positioned to embrace new, secular shifts in both consumer demand and labor constraints.”

Berkshire Grey’s BG Flex mobile robotic platform reinvents warehouse automation by:

  • Orchestrating hundreds to thousands of mobile robots working in concert.
  • Improving performance over time via AI and machine learning to interpret and adapt to the variability of each customer’s operations and provide ongoing throughput optimization.
  • Scaling from moderate to very-large operations in a matter of days with no down time.
  • Delivering high reliability and resiliency with no single points of failure.
  • Offering design flexibility, making solutions particularly well-suited for deployment within existing (brownfield) as well as new (greenfield) operations.
  • Including unique simulation capabilities for planning operations virtually with real-time visualization to deliver rapid deployments and production performance out-of-the-box.
  • Providing open APIs that enable integration with AS/RS, palletizers, and other systems.

The next generation of Berkshire Grey’s mobile robotic platform builds on the success of its first-generation systems which are in use at major retailers.

Here, hundreds of mobile robots sort and sequence tens of thousands of items, cases, and reusable containers on a daily basis.

Trucks are optimally loaded based on each customer’s preferred strategy, resulting in shorter unload times and significant improvements in store operations for product put away.

The new features of the BG Flex platform – including high density buffer and multiple picking options – extend the functionality of the system to provide end-to-end fulfillment and sortation processing in an optimally sized footprint appropriate for any operational environment.

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