Editor-at-Large Roberto Michel authored an article in the June issue of Modern Materials Handling, “The Big Picture: Adaptability as King,” that featured Matthews Automation Solutions’ brand Lightning Pick.
Discussed were the company’s emerging mobile robotics solutions and augmented reality (AR) glasses as part of a trend toward warehouses adopting automation solutions that support greater flexibility and adaptability in handling growing e-commerce and other distribution and order fulfillment needs. The emerging technologies offer gains in speed and flexibility, getting more orders out the door faster.
Among the experts interviewed, Michel spoke with Jim Bast, Vice President and General Manager of Lightning Pick. In discussing some of the benefits of mobile robots over fixed, permanent conveyor installations, Bast noted, “We see much of the advantage from mobile robots as coming from the flexibility of movement it allows for human operators. When you start adding lots of automation to a DC, it can start looking like an expressway interchange in Southern California.”
Bast also discussed AR glasses, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens, as a technology that supports greater warehouse and order fulfillment agility. He noted that the glasses’ ability to mix a view of physical reality with holographic information shows promise as a future alternative to hard-wired, pick-to-light solutions.
Although the hardware is not yet robust enough to handle the rigors of of a warehouse, Bast said, “we believe that as these [AR glasses] solutions become more industrialized, and frankly, more cost effective, there may come a time when maybe there won’t be physical lights needed for applications like put walls.”
The entire article can be found here.