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Welcome Instock: Partners in RobOps Innovation

By Team InOrbit

At InOrbit.AI we're always on the lookout for cutting-edge partners who share our passion for revolutionizing robot operations. Today, we are thrilled to celebrate one of our newest InOrbit Connect partners, Instock. A true trailblazer in the world of goods-to-person solutions, an installation of their flexible, modular Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) is now in use at the InOrbit Robot Space in Mountain View, California.

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Standing Out from the Crowd

Unlike traditional ASRS providers, Instock offers a remarkably simple modular grid system that can be easily scaled and adapted as needs evolve. This flexibility means their customers can start small and grow the system as business demands increase.

Rebecca Dyer, Chief of Operations at Instock, elaborated on what sets Instock apart from other goods-to-person solutions, noting that “Current market offerings are under-serving the needs of retailers and 3PLs who are demanding agility and cost efficiency. Instock’s breakthrough technology addresses these demands by using a software-driven architecture, a high-fidelity simulation-first approach, and by enabling self-service for day-to-day operations. Instock is making goods-to-person automation accessible to every fulfillment business with radically improved flexibility, modularity, and price point.”

Additionally, Instock has taken an innovative approach to autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). Their AMRs are not limited to moving only along the floors; they can navigate freely throughout the system, optimizing bin storage and retrieval by driving across all surfaces of the grid. Enabled by a dynamic magnetic suspension system, these robots transit along highway-like paths, moving vertically up walls and upside down on the ceiling to deploy a gripper from above for efficient bin retrieval.

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“While a robot driving up a wall and turning upside down is entertaining, this movement, facilitated in part by permanent magnets, is a functional way to flexibly and efficiently use three-dimensional space,” Rebecca explains. “Instock utilizes stacks of bins to build high storage density. With robots that can move along the ceiling, Instock can both manipulate the stacks of bins as well as design a spectrum of systems with various bin stack heights without forcing the robot to execute excessive digging.”

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Our team at the InOrbit Robot Space can attest to the speed and accuracy of the Instock system having seen it in action. And to be clear, it’s pretty awesome to watch at work. But how does Instock fit into the RobOps discussion? It’s all about collaboration. Instock recognizes that they don’t work in a vacuum. In real warehouses, the job doesn’t end at a put wall. Their customers care about the whole picture, and that means orchestration is a requirement. And end-to-end orchestration is something InOrbit knows a lot about.

 

A Partnership for the Future 

Integrating Instock’s innovative goods-to-person solution with InOrbit has been a true success story. On display at Automate 2024, attendees were treated to a showcase of end-to-end multi-vendor robot orchestration in a live, remote demo direct from the InOrbit Robot Space. The demo and partnership are examples of how collaboration can combat industry fragmentation and solve the issues companies developing and deploying robots care most about.

Yegor“At Instock, we believe in the power of automation to meaningfully improve operational efficiency, accuracy, and productivity,” said Yegor Anchyshkin, CEO and Co-Founder of Instock. “InOrbit’s vision to maximize this potential is a tremendous opportunity for robot providers and end users alike. Moreover, InOrbit’s commitment to innovation is tangible inside the Robot Space, and Instock is very excited to be a part of it!”

Our shared commitment to effective RobOps means we are not just optimizing individual robots but enhancing the entire operational ecosystem.

A Hands-free First

At Automate 2024, we showcased how using InOrbit in collaboration with other automation and integrated systems can help users orchestrate the complete lifecycle of an order. From e-commerce platforms and Warehouse Management System integrations, to goods-to-person fulfillment, delivery for shipment, and even restocking (or decanting as it’s called), this demo showcased automation working in harmony. 

In what may be a true first, this demo featured something special. InOrbit helped orchestrate Instock’s dynamic system to work with a popular AMR by OTTO by Rockwell Automation for a completely hands-free decanting execution.

Decanting, which traditionally involves halting all operations to reverse an ASRS, is time-consuming and labor-intensive. Leveraging Instock’s flexible nature and ground-level access provides a practical alternative, made possible by the collaboration of an ecosystem of partners. This is a perfect example of the power effective RobOps brings to bear, significantly enhancing operational efficiency.

 

Looking Ahead

 Florian Pestoni, CEO and Co-founder of InOrbit shared his excitement about the partnership: “Instock's innovative approach and commitment to excellence aligns with our mission to push the boundaries of what's possible in robot operations. Integrating Instock’s ASRS with our platform is a great example of how we can enhance operational efficiency and flexibility together.”

Bay Area visitors are invited to visit the InOrbit Robot Space at 293 Castro St in Mountain View and witness this cutting-edge technological collaboration in action, or contact us to book a remote demo for your team. Stay tuned for more exciting innovations coming soon!

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