While warehouse robots are already adept at most packaging tasks, they haven’t been great at working with soft textiles – until now. Uniqlo‘s parent company, Fast Retailing, teamed up with a Japanese startup called Mujin to develop robots that can identify, pick up, and pack apparel into shipping boxes just like a human worker.
In the video clip above, you can see the robots handling clothes in unstructured plastic packaging, identifying them as they place them in cardboard boxes so they can be shipped out. They even grab individual sheets of paper from a printer to place in said boxes without a fuss.
With robots like these, Uniqlo could fully automate its warehouses around the world in short order — especially since it’s already 90 percent of the way there with existing bots. According to Mujin, the startup has already begun automating one of Fast Retailing’s facilities, and is eager to ramp up its efforts in more of them.