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Soft Robotics announced that it will be expanding the commercial focus of its mGripAI, a soft gripping solution for automating bulk food picking processes. The company plans to make the product available for order fulfillment, sortation, decanting and kitting.
The mGripAI is able to perform over 90 picks per minute. It combines 3D vision and artificial intelligence to create human-like dexterity and hand-eye coordination. The product was originally brought to market in 2021 for the food processing industry, and now Soft Robotics wants to put it to use in warehouses and distribution centers.
The mGripAI solution includes perception modules that capture high-resolution, 3D images that are then sent to an intelligence module. This module translates images into action for the robotic arm and gripper. In unison with the intelligence module, an mGrip soft gripper picks the product.
“Entering the logistics and e-commerce industry is the natural next step for Soft Robotics and mGripAI 3D picking technology,” Austin Harvey, Sr. Director of Product at Soft Robotics, said. “We’re excited to start working with these customers to help increase their throughput and keep up with growing consumer demand. The unprecedented pick rates of mGripAI, its ability to handle product variability, and the overall ease-of-deployment are game-changers as companies in this space continue to look for answers to their labor challenges.”
The mGripAI system is able to track objects in real time for maximum pick accuracy. The system is also capable of grasp optimization, intelligent robot motion control and embedded object understanding. The company hopes that its product can help warehouses and distribution centers better handle challenges with labor availability.
Soft Robotics was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Bedford, Mass. Its investors include ABB Technology Ventures, FANUC, Honeywell Ventures and Yamaha Motor Ventures. The company’s last funding round took place in January 2020, when it brought in $23 million in Series B funding.