Tompkins Robotics partnered with design startup Lab Z to create the automated sorting system “t-Sort,” which uses independent robots for parcel and unit sortation.
The system performs similarly to the traditional conveyer-belt tilt tray or cross-belt sorters, but instead uses individual robots with no track, allowing each robot to travel independently along the shortest route during sorting. The system can also be added to on an as-needed basis, with individual robots, chutes and induction stations added without interruptions or downtime.
Tompkins’ system also differs from traditional sorting systems in upfront investment costs. The t-Sort system is designed for purchase on a seasonal or annual basis, deferring the usual large upfront capital investment and allowing for full utilization of the assets at all times. The company estimates that the capital investment in t-Sort is 50 percent to 70 percent less than needed for a traditional tilt tray sorting system.
The t-Sort system can sort bags, boxes and mailers, with a maximum capacity of up to a 30-inch by 36-inch parcel. Tompkins expects implementation for large-scale national customers this year, and will offer live demonstrations of t-Sort, its “Connected Warehouse” system and other technology at the re-opening of its Emerging Technology Center in Orlando on Feb. 20-21.
See the t-Sort system in action in the video below: