Many industries have a need for storage of various products in organized shelves in a warehouse, truck, freezer, or cabinet. The storage of these items is trivial; however the organization and retrieval of these products can be labor intensive, dangerous, and time-consuming. For example, a warehouse worker may have to retrieve a pallet of items stored 20 feet above the floor, a pharmacist may need to search through hundreds of medications to locate a patient’s prescription, or a truck driver may need to search through many boxes to find the proper package for home delivery. Our approach to improving all of these processes is to design and produce a robotic item retrieval and storage system which can be scaled for many applications and industries. Our functional prototype system can store and retrieve an item efficiently and safely within our laser-cut acrylic and wood shelving structure using a custom designed precision gantry system, a gripper which mates to pre-fabricated product bins, and a unique user interface. The idea of an automated storage and retrieval system is not new, but our approach is unique in that our gantry can be mounted to any shelf or cart to retrieve items in an existing storage facility or unit, as opposed to a total tear up of existing capital investment. Using our system, you can reduce the cost of organizing and storing items while ensuring human safety in any application.
Below is the CAD and a picture of our final design. Linked here is a video of the final product functioning.
Our Design was awarded Best Overall Project at the Carnegie Mellon University Fall 2019 Mechanical Engineering Expo.