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Spectrum IEEE sat down with CEO Tom Galluzzo about IAM Robotics emerging as one of the first companies to take on the warehouse pick packing problem on a commercial level. We will highlight some of Tom’s answers here!

In Evan Ackerman’s article, he highlighted:

  1. There are a handful of companies that are deploying robots to work with humans, but the challenge of a robot picking items has not been addressed in this way in a commercialized manner.
  2. The IAM Robotics team is drawing on it’s experiences in companies like: Carnegie Mellon, Harris Corporation, the Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing, and other organizations to solve this real world problem.

Here are some of the questions CEO Tom Galluzzo was asked:

  1. IAM Robotics is working on autonomously picking items off of shelves, which is something that most warehouse fulfillment companies aren’t trying to do yet, because it’s a really hard problem. How’d you decide to start there?
  2. Can you put into context for us why other companies aren’t doing this yet? Why is it so challenging?
  3. It sounds picking relatively small, boxy things is your target market. Is there potential to go into more general e-commerce? I imagine that that might be a little more difficult for picking. 

Highlights of Tom’s answers:

1. “I had been working at Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center as a robotics researcher…we were doing things autonomously like finding objects on a table, picking them up, moving them around”

 

2. “You have to pick and choose which problems you’re going to solve…a human can’t sustain 600 products per hour…we’ve done a demo of 1,100 products per hour with the robot…our robot has certain applications that work, and we can’t do it all, we’re fine with that.”

 

3. “Absolutely…one model is bin retrieval, almost like a light version of a Kiva system, but instead of bringing over a whole shelf, we just retrieve a box of whatever the product is…we are excited to be hearing from many Grocery E-Commerce companies.”