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Home>Automation>Picking & sortation>Hitachi develops two handed free-roaming warehouse robot
Home>Industry Sector>Retail/E-tail>Hitachi develops two handed free-roaming warehouse robot

Hitachi develops two handed free-roaming warehouse robot

26 August 2015

A prototype has been unveiled in Japan with the company saying the technology could be production-ready within five years.

Designed to fulfil eCommerce orders, the robot arms have cameras and grippers to help it identify and lift items.

The machine moves around on wheels, autonomously picking products and taking them to the packing station.

It is anticipated the arms will be able to hold a variety of objects of different shape and size. The maximum lift weight at present is 1kg.

The development is an attempt to create an automated solution to pick in complex, multi-product warehouses, where robots have traditionally proven far less flexible and efficient than people.

Hitachi is using two Epson ProSix C4-A901S industrial robot arms, which have six degrees of freedom of movement.

The robots use scissor lifts to reach items at different heights and the platforms are mounted on a mobile cart.

Online retailer Ocado is also working in this area, developing a robotic gripper that will attempt to gently grasp soft food, and humanoid robots to help with maintenance.

Robots and automated processes are taking a greater role in logistics, so what is do-able now and what is waiting in the future?