IAM Robotics

By Chris Mueller, Cosmitto

IAM Robotics is a Pittsburgh-based commercial robotics corporation developing into a leader of flexible autonomous robotic material handling solutions for e-commerce order fulfillment in material handling, logistics and manufacturing. Through its Swift Product Suite, the company is revolutionizing mobile manipulation robotics to make flexible automation a reality.

How? These mobile robots are the first of their kind to hold the capability to locate items on warehouse shelves, select them with robotic arm technology and then transport them throughout the warehouse in order to be shipped out to consumers.

“We as consumers spend about 40 billion hours a year shopping for goods in retail stores,” said IAM Robotics CEO Joel Reed. “But as we begin staying home more often and buying those items through e-commerce portals, somebody has to do that shopping for us. There aren’t enough people in the labor force today to complete all that work.

“We need automation, and more specifically, we now have the opportunity to use mobile robots to accomplish it.”

The robots can individually select items from shelves using advanced perception algorithms. Their ability to sense the world around them allows for e-commerce fulfillment. The Swift Solution combines technology and autonomous robots to act as the vision, conductor and workhorse of the entire operation.

First is Flash, a high-performance product dimensioner and photo booth that can record barcodes, 3D dimensions, weight and high-resolution product images in less than a second. Next comes SwiftLink, a robust software interface to integrate existing warehouse management systems into the process. It can issue commands, monitor robot statuses, track both productivity and cost-effective analytics, and allow for 24/7 notifications to any mobile device.

And finally, rounding out the operation is Swift, which will physically go and retrieve the items through communication with SwiftLink. It can work up to 10 hours without interruption to increase pack and ship operations into a competitive advantage over other companies. Additionally, Swift can be paired with Bolt, a transport robot, whose main benefit is to further improve the throughput and ROI of the Swift Solution by exchanging totes with Swift, delivering the full tote to the next process in the fulfillment cycle such as packing and shipping. By leveraging Bolt for transport, Swift remains focused on picking.

The best part of it all is that IAM Robotics, headquartered in Sewickley, is completely Pittsburgh-made. Co-founders Tom Galluzzo and Vladamir Altman are both highly affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University’s world-renowned Robotics Engineering Center, and have utilized the city’s thriving robotics industry for growth and sustained success. IAM Robotics received one of the largest venture capital investments in the Pittsburgh region in 2018 with $20 million to grow its presence.

“Pittsburgh is the reason we’re here,” said Reed. “It’s important for us to be here because this is where a great deal of research, development, innovation and growth of commercial robotic companies takes place.”

For more information, check out: iamrobotics.com.