These Picking Assistant Automated Mobile Robots (PA-AMRs) are also known as zone-picking robots. Pickers are stationed in zones throughout the warehouse floor and robots enter their zone when something in that area needs to be picked. The picker places an item in a tote held by the robot. When full, the robot delivers totes to packaging station where the order is prepared for sending.
Over time, pickers become familiar with the location of items and get faster, however this system’s pick speed is limited by the speed at which a person can manually select an item, with average speeds in the range of 100-200 picks per hour. Although not robotic, traditional conveyor operations provide similar speed boost over manual.
Typical pick speeds for warehouses with traditional conveyor automation range from 100-250 picks per hour.
A move from conveyors to a PA-AMR, or what may also be called a Person-to-Robot system, doesn’t provide an advantage. Adding a PA-AMR robot may reduce labor, but there are high capital costs. However, one advantage is that these picking assistant robots don’t require new moveable racking, making it possible to get started with robotics fast without having to change how your inventory is stored.