Piece-picking - the selection of individual items - has proven a tough nut to crack in distribution.
If the items to be picked are all the same size and shape, or are presented in a known sequence, such as on a conveyor belt, the challenge is not so high.
But if the SKUs are of varying size, and/or placed in random order say in a tote, then the difficulty level gets much higher.
A number of companies, such as RightHand Robotics, are pursuing piece-picking automation. For several years, Amazon conducted a "Robotic Picking Challenge," with piece-picking robotss from teams across the globe.
Now a startup from Poland called NoMagic claims to have largely solved the problem, using vision technology plus - what else? - artificial intelligence. Last week, NoMagic announced it had received $8.6 million in funding, one of the largest amounts ever for a Polish firm.
SCDigest editor Dan Gilmore overviews the technology, with video of the robot in action, in an excerpt from our weekly Supply Chain Video News program, with CSCMP.
Please view the short video below.