Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) are computer-controlled systems that automatically place and retrieve loads from set storage locations in a facility with precision, accuracy and speed. They are designed for automated storage and retrieval of parts and items in manufacturing, distribution, retail, wholesale and institutions. Originating in the 1960s, AS/RS initially focused on heavy pallet loads. With the evolution of technology, the handled loads have become smaller.
Retrieval of items is accomplished by specifying the item type and quantity to be retrieved. The computer determines where in the storage area the item can be retrieved from and does the retrieval. It directs the machine to the location where the item is stored and manages the machine to deposit the item at a location where to be picked up.