Illustration of Robotic Arm

Automated bin picking, also known as robotic bin picking, leverages advanced robotics equipped with AI and 3D vision technologies to automate the process of identifying, picking, and placing items from bins. This innovation streamlines manufacturing and logistics operations by handling items of various shapes and sizes, navigating through cluttered or randomly organized bins. The integration of AI enables the system to learn and improve over time, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in tasks such as assembly, packaging, and material handling, setting the stage for more sophisticated applications like random bin picking.

Random Bin Picking. Help is on the Way!

Random bin picking. It’s a lot like your kids’ play area after the holidays. It’s a chaotic space where a ton of random parts and items need to be handled, sorted, and put in their proper places.

However, the random bin picking we are talking about is in an industrial setting, where robots are on the warehouse floor, having to deal with the arbitrary parts they are picking from bins in different positions and angles and putting them where they belong.

The Mechanics Behind Automated Bin Picking

With that information, several questions may pop into your mind: How do automated machines make all that happen? And can robots come to my house and help me? Unfortunately, robots can’t come to your house… yet, but let’s take a look at how automation can manage such sophisticated picking and sorting tasks in the warehouse.

  • They can “see” with their state-of-the-art machine vision systems. Images of the bins’ contents are taken, recognized, and analyzed. From there, they determine the items’ positions, orientations, and shapes.
  • They understand the spatial arrangement of the objects. Three-dimensional scanning technologies create a 3D map of all that’s in the bin, helping to get a better handle on the physical layout of the contents.
  • They have machine learning algorithms and AI to help process the visual data so the robots can make real-time decisions. Amazingly, this AI automation technology learns to recognize and adapt to all kinds of pieces and bin configurations.
  • They have arms. Special grippers on robotic arms are used to pick up and move items. Thanks to their vision systems, they can make precise movements to make sure the objects they pick get to the right place.
  • They have sensors to help them out, like:
    • Proximity sensors detect the distance to the pieces in the bin.
    • Gripper sensors make sure objects are correctly held without too much or too little force.
    • Weight sensors are helpful for quality control and sorting based on weight standards.
    • Collision sensors spot any possible contact or collision between the robot, the bin, other equipment, or surrounding things.
    • Temperature and humidity sensors are necessary for the appropriate functioning of the automated system and for preventing damage to sensitive pieces.

Picking Robots: The Future of Automated Sorting

Most of us agree that, at one point or another, we could benefit personally from automated bin picking using robots and AI. While that may be down the road, professionals in many industries now benefit from this advanced technology. Not only does it increase a company’s productivity and streamline processes, but it also helps reduce labor costs and eases the struggle to find humans to fill roles essential to many warehouse operations.;

Check out more info on random bin picking. We’d love to talk about your specific needs and challenges. Call us at 866.243.2402 or ask us a question to start the conversation.