BOSTON — Murata Machinery Ltd., also known as Muratec, this week announced that it will work with Alert Innovation Inc. in developing and commercializing Alert Innovation’s Alpahbot material handling technology. Muratec said that it has recognized the robot’s “superior capabilities across diverse automation applications,” and that it plans to adapt and sell the technology to support applications beyond grocery retail.
Founded in 2013, Alert Innovation said its mission is to transform how people shop and how retailers operate. The North Billerica, Mass.-based company has brought to market the Alphabot Automated Storage and Retrieval System and Automated Each-Picking System. Alphabot is among the robots in trials at Walmart. Alert Innovation is also working on Novastore, its concept for a new kind of automated supermarket.
For half a century, Muratec said its automated systems have assisted more than 5,000 companies in creating efficient storage and shipping systems. The Kyoto, Japan-based company added that its automated turnkey material handling and information control systems have positioned it as a global leader in the material-handling industry.
“We developed the Alphabot technology to solve arguably the most difficult automation challenge in any industry, namely automating the supermarket,” said John Lert, founder and CEO of Alert Innovation. “In solving that problem, we have created a technology that will be the best-in-class solution for a broad array of automation problems as well.”
:”Our partnership with Murata makes it possible for companies other than food retailers to benefit from this breakthrough technology, and it will also make both Muratec and Alert Innovation stronger companies in the process,” he said.
Alphabot includes robots that Alert Innovation said can navigate three-dimensional structures and is the most capital-efficient and broadly scalable each-picking technology ever developed. It is designed for retail applications ranging from store-level, micro-fulfillment systems to massive e-commerce fulfillment centers, as well as a large array of applications in factory automation and hospital automation.
“We believe the flexible mobile robotics solution that Alert Innovation has pioneered in the United States will provide distinct advantages for our customers with regard to storage density, cost efficiency and high reliability with no single point of failure,” said Toshihiko Ishiyama, managing director of Muratec.
The Robot Report has launched the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum, which will be on Dec. 9-10 in Santa Clara, Calif. The conference and expo focuses on improving the design, development and manufacture of next-generation healthcare robots. Learn more about the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum.