Trailer unloading has long been a labor-intensive task, prompting the rise of robotics companies offering solutions. Among them, Anyware Robotics believes it has struck the right balance of safety, capability, and cost with its Pixmo robot. While the concept of a truck-unloading robot is not new, Pixmo stands out with its clever yet straightforward box-handling solution.

Pixmo’s design includes a mobile base with an arm that maneuvers into trailers, employing suction to lift stacked boxes onto a conveyor belt. What sets Pixmo apart is its integration of a heavy-payload collaborative arm from Fanuc, making it ISO-certified safe to work alongside humans. By utilizing off-the-shelf components and contracting out the base to a robotics OEM, Anyware Robotics streamlines the supply chain and ensures reliability.

Thomas Tang, cofounder and CEO of Anyware Robotics, emphasizes the simplicity and efficiency of Pixmo’s design. Despite the custom base, Pixmo remains cost-effective, offering a payback period of approximately 24 months, a fraction of the cost of other solutions. The robot’s efficiency is further enhanced by an add-on conveyor system that minimizes lifting and reduces cycle time.

The add-on conveyor aligns with the base of a box, allowing Pixmo to handle boxes weighing up to 65 pounds with a lift-and-slide technique. This setup maximizes throughput, enabling Pixmo to unload up to 1,000 boxes per hour. Tang attributes the success of this solution to the company’s willingness to explore simplicity and move away from legacy mindsets in robotics.

While Anyware Robotics initially focuses on trailer unloading, Pixmo’s versatility opens doors to other warehouse tasks like palletizing and depalletizing. Tang envisions a future where mobile manipulators like Pixmo play a crucial role in industrial automation, offering flexibility and efficiency across various applications.

Despite being just over a year old, Anyware Robotics has made significant strides, completing pilot programs and garnering interest from leading logistics providers. With plans to release the first commercial version of Pixmo by July, the company is poised to revolutionize trailer unloading and beyond.

By Impact Lab