Bedford & Waltham, Mass. – (Sept. 5, 2019) – 6 River Systems, Inc. (6RS) and Soft Robotics today announced a strategic partnership to deliver an automated picking solution for e-commerce and retail warehouses. The solution combines 6 River Systems’ automated collaborative mobile robot, Chuck, with Soft Robotics’ disruptive, full stack bin picking and order fulfillment solution, SuperPick. With Chuck’s ease of implementation and SuperPick’s ability to handle the largest range of SKUs without the need for prior robot training, the fully integrated system is the first commercially available end-to-end mobile picking solution. The two companies will provide live demonstrations of their innovation Sept. 15-18 during CSCMP EDGE 2019 in Anaheim, Calif.
To keep pace with rising consumer demands and a declining labor supply, manufacturers and warehouse operators are increasingly turning to robotic automation. The benefits of bringing robotic automation to a $6 billion global warehouse market include improved business efficiencies across the warehouse, as well as the ability to better support the current workforce so they can focus on more strategic tasks and initiatives. Unlike ad hoc technology combinations, this integrated solution may bring transformative productivity gains of up to 2-3x to existing warehouses and fulfillment center installations.
“The partnership between 6 River Systems and Soft Robotics is an excellent illustration of combinatorial innovation at the intelligent operational system level. It confirms the accelerating shift of robotics use-cases from ‘the point of activity’ to ‘a place of innovation’,” remarked Remy Glaisner, Research Director, IDC. “It also keeps strengthening the application of robotics beyond incremental task improvement and aligns with pressing strategic enterprise considerations such as labor market challenges.”
Jerome Dubois, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, 6RS, sees the partnership with Soft Robotics as one way the company can meet the dynamic needs of e-commerce and retail customers: “This solution will allow customers to fully automate the picking process for high-demand products, thereby enabling warehouse employees to focus on higher impact operations. The combined capabilities of Chuck and SuperPick will expand capacity, enabling more orders to be completed with greater accuracy and speed.”
Previously, robotic solutions deployed in the warehouse environment burdened the customer with the added costs and complexities of SKU training and deep learning methods, delaying deployment and ROI. This combined solution from 6RS and Soft Robotics removes the barriers associated with these high costs and delivers an easily deployed solution into existing infrastructure.
Carl Vause, CEO of Soft Robotics, sees the combined solution as a key offering to organizations that are struggling with staffing shortages: “I speak with customers nearly every day that are struggling with peak efficiency as a result of their inability to hire workers. The integration of mobile material transport systems and goods to robot order fulfillment systems will help to address an increasingly common market need and I am confident these customers will see throughput gains and payback faster than ever before.”
Companies interested in learning more about this partnership can experience it live at exhibit booth #501 at CSCMP EDGE 2019.