On Wednesday, global software and mobile robotics provider GreyOrange launched the latest advancement of its fulfillment operating system.
GreyOrange leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize fulfillment operations. According to a statement released by the company, GreyOrange FOS is the only system that combines software and robots in order to improve order fulfillment throughput, scale and economics.
According to the press release, the operating system embodies capabilities that optimize fulfillment for companies with omnichannel and e-commerce needs and allows for efficient store replenishment strategies.
Three key benefits of the fulfillment operating strategies include: personalization based on inventory packing preferences of individual stores, increase in time efficiency and minimization of labor required to move stock from receipt to shelf.
With GreyMatter software, ranger robots are developed to use machine learning, allowing for adjustments in decision making as well as behavior based on real-time observation.
According to GreyOrange, each Ranger robot delivers "last and learn" value from maximum-life engineering. Through the GreyMatter central system, communication among robots incorporates that learning, enabling the entire system to continue to get smarter.
The release includes three types of robots:
Ranger GTP (formerly Butler). These mobile robots are assigned for goods-to-person purposes and are capable of transporting inventory from 220 to 3,500 pounds to workers for packing.
Ranger Mobile Sorter (formerly Flexo). These mobile robots are used for sortation. They operate in fleets to increase efficiency and fluidity in moving parcels from receiving through dispatch to avoid sortation bottlenecks that can occur with rigid systems. This is especially necessary in peak volume periods.
Ranger Picking (formerly PickPal). This robot is designed for picking that works in tandem with the goods-to-person robots either for assisting humans with picking orders or for picking orders autonomously in either manned or unmanned warehouses.
GreyMatter intelligence incorporated a learning layer to the Ranger robots, enabling them to adapt to their surroundings within the distribution center and externally as fluctuations in order patterns and fulfillments occur.
With the GreyMatter central system, the robots are able to communicate with each other. This communication allows for continuous recalculation of order fulfillment priorities and inventory movement patterns based on real-time factors, such as order fulfillment commitments, actual fulfillment speeds, available resources and time remaining in dispatch windows.
"Synthesizing GreyMatter with a family of individually purposed robots that are built to be collaborative with each other and with the GreyMatter hub makes GreyOrange unique in the industry; it represents the culmination of many years of intensive research and development by the company," said Akash Gupta, chief technology officer for GreyOrange.
"We've seen the performance benefits of designing artificial intelligence-driven software and mobile robotics together, so that each enhances the learning and adaptation of the other, rather than alternative approaches that simply interface with software and robots," Gupta added.
Market intelligence and automation firm Interact Analysis released a report earlier this year that discussed the "perfect storm" of order fulfillment robots driving the deployment of more than 580,000 robots over the next five years. Such robots in the fulfillment space include autonomous mobile robots as well as sortation and piece-picking systems.
Many companies struggle to keep up with the expectations of same-day or next-day delivery among store replenishment runs. According to Samay Kohli, CEO for GreyOrange, companies are seeking to modernize fulfillment demands by using software and hardware built for a different time — a time before Amazon.
Amazon accelerated collective expectations. "The idea that software and robots built together using the same intelligence is required in a modern Fulfillment Operating System is unique to GreyOrange," Kohli said, "and represents the only solution built specifically to address modern fulfillment challenges."
GreyOrange hopes to intelligently connect people, processes and technology to modernize fulfillment by adding numerous adaptive-learning, self-learning, collaborative decision-making enhancements to GreyMatter and the Ranger Robot series.