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New Class of Mobile Industrial Robots

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Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Broader application?
Elizabeth M   2/25/2013 5:23:23 AM
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Wow, this is really cool and a great application of this kind of technology and from the looks of the photo, they are quite sleek looking. And I imagine this is the kind of work that is painstaking for a human and could actually help a human worker be more efficient and do other things while the robot does the annoying part of the job. I also wonder if this kind of self-driving technology could have an application for self-driving cars?

a.saji
User Rank
Silver
Re: Broader application?
a.saji   2/25/2013 8:34:18 AM
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Good question Elizabeth. I too would like to have one if its being embeded or has the possibility to embed to a real vehicle. One quick question.. What sort of a distance does it carry signals for ?

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Broader application?
Elizabeth M   2/25/2013 10:19:16 AM
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Well even if it's embedded, maybe the principle of the technology can be applied to other vehicles. Definitely a posssibility, I imagine.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Mobile Robots
apresher   2/25/2013 1:48:08 PM
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One of the key concepts of this technology is its ability to map out the floor plan of the facility and and sense, learn and map its environment versus relying on beacons or magnetic strips in the floor. That feature might be useful in other vehicles but it is targeting the plant environment.

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
bigger ecommerce boom?
NadineJ   2/25/2013 2:54:31 PM
Technology like this can make it even easier and faster for online retailers to fill orders.  It could even be used to help small retailers enter the online marketplace.

Any details on the up-front cost per sq ft associated with modifying any facility to use an AGV?  What's the minimum facility size needed for this to be considered reasonable or cost effective?

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Mobile Robots
apresher   2/25/2013 3:25:44 PM
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NadineJ, Not sure I can answer your specific questions but here are key points that relate to those:
  • "Natural feature" navigation used to deliver goods throughout a facility. Uses sensor input to determine location within the environment.
  • Deployment time less than competing technologies. Users map the area of operation.  Claim is that "productive operations can be implemented in as little as a fraction of a day" depending on size/complexity of layout.
  • After deployed, asset is capable of managing real-time changes in environment. This enables vehicle to handle "exceptions" which is key departure from traditional forms of navigation.

Hope that is helpful.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Mobile Robots
Ann R. Thryft   2/25/2013 5:26:25 PM
This platform looks like it's built with similar priniciples and technologies as some of the mobile medical robots and security robots we' ve covered before, but combining them in new ways.

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Applications for AGV's
Greg M. Jung   2/25/2013 10:35:05 PM
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From time to time, I see AGV's in industrial environments, but they do not seem to have taken off like the ATM machine, kiosks, etc.  What are (or will) some applications be that will really make AGV's become a mainstream part of the workforce?

LJM
User Rank
Iron
History repeating
LJM   2/26/2013 9:45:46 AM
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This reminds me of a fun robot that I worked on in the early 1990's. It was a kind of "tug" or autonomous tractor that pulled trailers loaded with material from A to B in a factory. It was Laser guided and had the usual Ultrasonic proximity detectors for object aviodance. It triangulated it's position every few milliseconds and so could go "off path". The task was to back up and dock with a full trailer at point A, haul it to the drop off point B, release it, then pickup an empty trailer and haul it back to point A. Then repeat with a nother full trailer. The payload was several 1,000 BIC pen barrels for assembly. Very reliable.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Mobile Robots
apresher   2/26/2013 12:20:15 PM
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Ann,  Medical applications are part of the target for this technology.  Applications include deployment into hospitals in the form of a courier, such as a nurse that needs to get medication from a pharmacy up to the patient's ward. The pharmacist would place it into one of the units, and even have it go up on an elevator to the patient's room. That saves the highly trained clinician that time to transfer the product.

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