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Neocortex Airline Beverage Replenishing Cell

Universal Logic

Universal Robotics and NxtGen Robotics have partnered to introduce an automated system with Neocortex® artificial intelligence for replenishing airline beverages returned to catering kitchens from aircraft after a flight – improving throughput and cleanliness while reducing costs. 

The Neocortex Airline Beverage Replenishing Cell It is based on the pre-engineered Neocortex® Goods to Robot (G2R) Cell, using the class-leading Yaskawa Motoman MH12 six-axis robot.  It flexibly sorts and replenishes up to 1400 cans per hour of a wide range of in-flight 12-ounce beverage cans returned to an airline catering kitchen.  It has less than a one year payback for either a retrofit or new installation.

Neocortex artificial intelligence handles inbound returned cans - whether upright, tilted and lying flat. It also determines cans that are opened and partially used, or unused and returned. If the can is unused, Neocortex identifies the brand by directing the robot to pick it up and read its label. It then reuses these cans for the next new drawer it assembles – supplementing with new cans as needed based on the prescribed assortment. 

The Neocortex Cell replenishes using up to eight distinct brands of beverage.  The operator puts incoming drawers on a conveyor, and picks up replenished trays on the outgoing conveyor.  In between, the Cell dumps opened cans and sends dirty drawers to be washed.  An operator only restocks the gravity-fed shelves with flats of beverages once an hour. 

Neocortex’s machine learning does not require programming to handle changes in brands or tray assortments.  For instance, when a beverage company creates a new label, Neocortex is assisted by human training.  It takes the operator a minute to train Neocortex on the new label.  Then is it back to work.  This extreme flexibility makes it easy to change, replace or substitute brands on the fly in case of shortages or modifications. The assortment composition can easily be changed via an operating panel.

Model: U7600C



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