Topic: Lawrenceville company to teach its robots to pack medical supplies for hospitals
IAM Robotics’ machines are used to moving about warehouses in the same way shoppers roam through a store: coming in with a list in mind and searching the aisles to grab an item or two off the shelf.
Now, through a recently announced partnership with Johnson & Johnson, the Lawrenceville-based robotics company is working to develop a machine that can go a step further and search through a box for the right item.
The software upgrade is meant to improve efficiency at warehouses, taking one more task out of human’s hands, according to CEO and cofounder Tom Galluzzo.
That’s especially important for use in Johnson & Johnson’s warehouses, where the robots will be working in the medical supplies division to pick up things like suture kits and prosthetic limbs. In some cases, they’ll be responsible for picking the right tools for the right hospital for patients already on the surgical table.
In the trauma division, for example, Johnson & Johnson has about one hour to get the product to the hospital, on a moment’s notice, to treat patients who are often in critical condition.
“With the pandemic, people really saw the need to have sustainable health care supply chains,” said Michael Strong, senior director, insights and innovation at Johnson & Johnson.
The company is “really trying to make sure when things like the pandemic happen, we’re ahead enough that we can still serve all of our customers.”
One of the biggest risks in the company’s supply chain right now is “absenteeism,” or employees not showing up for work for various reasons, Mr. Strong said. Employing autonomous mobile robots would mean operations at the warehouse don’t have to slow down when employees call out sick or when it’s not safe for people to come in.
“Our long-term vision is to make sure we’re in a position where we never, ever miss a surgery,” Mr. Strong said. “Long term, I would say the pandemic has shown us we have to de-risk how we’re using humans.”
Topic Discussed: Lawrenceville company to teach its robots to pack medical supplies for hospitals