Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Urbx launches robotic inventory storage and retrieval system

Urbx has launched its robotic inventory storage and retrieval system. The company says it is capable of fulfilling complex, multi-SKU orders at “unprecedented speeds”.

The system builds on the principles of traditional automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) and uses a combination of robotics, software and storage racking to deliver key advantages in speed, height, density and scalability in goods-to-person order fulfillment workflows.

The system uses a fleet of proprietary Urb TowerBots driven by AI to find the shortest 3D path through a dense storage grid to retrieve totes and bring them out to a pick station.

TowerBots move across the top of racking and drop down through strategically located columns to access inventory.

This storage grid design requires no navigating aisles or digging to access totes below top storage layers, enabling access to inventory at all levels – stacked up to 75 totes high – in seconds.

TowerBots then move totes down through those same columns to built-in conveyor tiles for transport to order fulfillment and consolidation.

In practice, the Urbx system enables exceptional fulfillment speeds, capable of fulfilling a 50-line order in less than 2.5 minutes.

Lincoln Cavalieri, founder and CEO, Urbx, says: “We started Urbx to satisfy the demand for speed in retail order fulfillment that just wasn’t being met by existing solutions.

“We concepted, tested and iterated on a system that really pushes the limits of what automation can do, and in turn, of what fulfillment operations can achieve.

“And that goes beyond revolutionizing warehouse environments. Delivering inventory at such high rates also has the near-term potential to address the needs of grocery fulfillment and even consumer-facing retail applications.”

The Urbx system offers double-deep storage built up to industry-leading heights for maximum possible density and capacity, while maintaining a small horizontal footprint.

This space efficiency is a particularly strong fit for supply chains pushing to locate distribution points closer to consumers in urban centers, where pressure from high real estate costs incentivizes building up, rather than out.

The ability to handle up to 100 pounds per tote allows the system to accommodate a broad range of inventory, including heavy, dense items.

Urbx is designed with the needs of integrators in mind, without rigid software requirements and specialized hardware components, and is sold and supported by a global network of material handling automation systems integrators.

The company uses Beckoff for standard controls and sources totes from Utz.

Leave a Reply