MODEX 2018: What a difference a year makes
Updated: Mar 19
Major milestones met – and a world record set
After three years of engineering and development, we lifted the curtain on our RightPick technology for intelligent piece-picking at ProMat 2017 in Chicago. Based on a machine learning backend coupled with an intelligent gripper that works with industry-leading robotic arms, our picking demonstrations were a show highlight. The material handling and intralogistics world took notice.
The supply chain industry at the time was – as it is now – experiencing rapid change, driven by e-commerce growth, labor supply constraints and the need for greater productivity and cost-effective solutions. From the start, our mission has been to apply our innovative technology to automate the piece-picking process – and ProMat was our debut.
As context, here’s what Supply Chain Digest observed at ProMat 2017:
“…The technology to grab individual items and put them in a carton or tote has largely been solved. There were many systems at ProMat doing robotic piece-picking successfully at high rates of speed. The challenge now is really not so much the physical grabbing, but in the vision and software systems to speed up the picking process and improve accuracy. Progress in those areas is occurring at a rapid pace.”
RightPick, the RightHand Robotics piece-picking technology, was showcased at five booths at MODEX, 2018 in Atlanta, GA.
At this year’s MODEX in Atlanta, the audience was equally as large (over 30,000) and the exhibit floor as spacious (300,000 sq ft and 925 exhibitors). Much had changed, however. The rapid pace of industry development could be seen everywhere, with continued movement toward fully embracing a digital supply chain. Exhibitors presented new solutions based on automation, AI, autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, IoT, data analytics, and – of course – robotics.
Indeed, across the show floor there were robots and cobots gripping, grabbing, picking, lifting, moving, stacking, hoisting, storing, retrieving, rolling, sorting and packing. The atmosphere was collaborative, colorful and kinetic.
Reflecting on the accelerating pace of change in the industry is the progress that RightHand Robotics has made. A quick summary:
Built a faster, smarter grasping system, increasing pick productivity by 100%
Enhanced system recognition capability and increased pick confidence
Added new integration partners
Deployed RightPick systems in multiple countries
Launched RightPick.AI with defined mission protocol
Created and validated pay-per-pick business model
Productized workcells based on collaborative robot arms from Universal Robots
Established the RightCare Service Plan
Increased team size by 50% and moved to a larger HQ facility
Been featured in the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Xconomy, Supply Chain Digest, ZDNet, and many more
“…the technical barriers to robotic picking of individual items and cases is just about completely gone. There may be other reasons to not go in this direction, but it won't be because it can't be done, as was the case just a few years ago.” – Supply Chain Digest
Oh, and we set a new world record at MODEX!
RightPick workcells were featured in five exhibitor booths and successfully picked and placed 131,072 items over the duration of the show. Utilizing robots from Universal Robots, the cells were integrated with sortation systems, automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) and mobile robots. Depending on the workflow, our systems achieved pick rates of up to 1,000 units per hour across an assortment of items, including products that the system had never seen before.
“The record may be boring, but the implications are monumental.” – ZDNet
Robotics technology is reinventing the material handling industry: increasing efficiency and productivity, alleviating labor shortages while creating new, higher-skilled jobs, and building the supply chains of tomorrow.
One year ago was the “RightNow” moment for RightHand Robotics. Since then we’ve advanced the technology, gained commercial acceptance and recognition, added key industrial partners, and made tremendous strides. The revolution continues.