Two Boston-area robotics companies, both members of the 2019 RBR50 list, have teamed up to deliver a cross-platform robotics solution aimed at warehouse fulfillment operators. Locus Robotics and RightHand Robotics are showing off a preview of the multi-stage offering at the Momentum Conference this week in Phoenix.
The collaboration involves combining Locus’ autonomous multi-robot model (the LocusBot) for piece-handling with RightHand’s autonomous work cell system (one example is their RightPick2), to provide greater automation and address multiple fulfillment processes, especially in high-volume environments. The goal is to provide productivity and efficiency gains for shared customers in the retail and third-party logistics (3PL) markets, both companies said.
Examples of how the two systems would work in collaboration include a RightHand Robotics system placing an object/product onto a LocusBot, which then delivers the product to another location in the warehouse. Conversely, a LocusBot could deliver orders to a stationary RightHand station, at which point the robot arm would be able to retrieve objects at a sorting station.
“We are excited to partner with RightHand Robotics, a recognized leader in performance and efficiency-driving piece-picking solutions,” said Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics. “Our companies share a vision of delivering innovative, industry-leading technology solutions that drive productivity for our customers. By working together, we can bring greater flexibility and productivity to the fulfillment warehouse. This is particularly impactful in high-volume scenarios, where automation can drive greater operational efficiencies.”
“Locus is recognized as one of the pioneers of autonomous mobile robots for warehouses, and we’re thrilled to be working together,” said Leif Jentoft, co-founder of RightHand Robotics. “Our companies’ advanced technologies will provide transformative solutions to a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, apparel, grocery, and more. With the growing demands of e-commerce fulfillment, we can solve our customers’ needs for flexible and reliable technology, with real productivity and efficiency results.”
RightHand, which already works with several other robotics companies and system partners, said the agreement with Locus would not change any agreement with those partners. Rather, the company wants to “provide the picking platform that can marry with the widest variety of legacy and new technology in warehousing,” said Vince Martinelli, head of product and marketing at RightHand.
The two companies, which are located less than 20 miles from each other in Somerville (RightHand) and Wilmington (Locus), have more than just a Boston connection. Karen Leavitt, CMO at Locus, said the flexibility of both companies to configure systems quickly based on the needs of operators, especially during peak or seasonal periods, is one of the things that both companies bring to the table.
“The notion of being able to have technology that can be deployed on a just-in-time or an as-needed basis to our customers is the vision that we share,” said Leavitt. “That type of flexibility was really never available with automated technology before.”