Adept's new Lynx mobile robot, a self-navigating AIV, is designed to move material from point to point in environments that may include confined passageways and dynamic and peopled locations. The Lynx system supports payloads of up to 60kg, utilizes digital maps for localization, and manages power and self-charging operations. (Source: Adept Technology)
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?
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, 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.
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?
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.
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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