Pick & place systems allow automated movement of items using a vacuum pump and movable rig. The pump provides vacuum to a suction cup, which picks up the item. The item is moved to its desired location using the rig, then the vacuum pump is disconnected from the suction cup, returning to atmospheric pressure and releasing the item.

Pick & place is particularly useful for moving very small items that would be difficult to pick up mechanically, large or heavy items that need to be moved regularly, or delicate items that could be easily damaged.