Note from Bob Ferrari’s Post on Aug 7, 2014 entitled Permanent Shifts in Consumer Shopping Trends Have Supply Chain Implications. He comments on a quote in the article: Online Customer Fulfillment, Retail Supply Chain, Supply Chain Business Process that cites the following from Shopper-Trak: “Online sales have grown more than 15% every quarter for the past two years and are having a big impact on the way many companies are looking at their brick-and-mortar stores…. Rather than networks of distribution centers and fleets supporting individual physical stores, the new emphasis will be on high-volume online fulfillment supported by combinations of fulfillment centers and multi-purpose retail outlets.”

This demand for personalization by the customer is driving an increase in the number of SKUs that must be managed in the supply chain operation. To do this requires more efficient and accurate order fulfillment.

Universal Robotics offers robotic random bin picking that can assist in solving this problem. We do this by creating applications using Neocortex. Neocortex is interactive machine learning software that learns from a robot’s interaction with its 3D environment. It inspects 3D objects in obscure situations, recognizes never-seen-before objects in random locations, and guides robots to react in real-time; increasing flexibility in automation.

In the case of random bin picking, Neocortex can recognize objects in the same shape class, such as various tubes or a range of bottles, scan the barcode to verify against the order, and guide the robot to pick it and place it automatically in the order box.