Mobile Robot Companies You Need To Know

Here’s a broad look at the commercial mobile robot market. Most of these robots are designed specifically for manufacturing and warehouse tasks, while others provide specialized tasks, such as cleaning or carrying medical care items.
  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug

    McKinsey describes mobile robots as autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). AGVs and AMRs are not fixedly installed but mobile. Navigation is either onboard (camera or laser based) or external (path based using magnetic tape, wire, or rails on the ground). Application mobile robots are used for logistics and delivery as well as for moving pieces, such as boxes, pallets, or tools, in industrial settings between machinery, transfer points, or storage areas.

    According to IDTechEx, automated guide carts and vehicles (AGC and AGV) have been in use for a long time. They are reliable and trusted to handle all manner of payloads. Their installation is however time-consuming, and their workflow can be difficult to adapt.

    The landscape of mobile robots was set on fire when Amazon acquired Kiva Systems in 2012. The event set off a wave of start-ups, and Amazon has continued to develop mobile robot technology and acquire mobile robot companies. IDTechEx forecasts that between 2020 and 2030, more than 1 million mobile robots will be sold.

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto

    Clearpath Robotics (Otto Motors)

    The OTTO 100 is a small, powerful self-driving vehicle designed to move boxes, carts, bins, and other human-scale payloads through dynamic environments. OTTO navigates spaces just like a person does. It maintains a map of the environment in its memory and uses visual reference points to always know its position. No guides, infrastructure, or predefined paths required. (Image source: Otto Motors)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck

    6 River Systems

    The Chuck robot from 6 River Systems is built from the same technology and sensors as autonomous vehicles. Chuck uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to navigate. The robot leads users through their work zones to help them minimize walking, stay on task, and work more efficiently. Chuck integrates with warehouse management systems so it can be used in all put-away, picking, counting, replenishment, and sorting tasks. (Image source: 6 River Systems)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics

    NextShift Robotics

    The TM-100 from NextShift Robotics is designed to recognize humans and other obstacles in its path. It is designed to stop to give way to people and smart enough find a way around obstacles. The TM-100 is built to handle normal warehouse conditions; obstacles, dirt, dust, and temperature extremes. With its rugged industrial design, it can navigate uneven floors, bumps and dropped items. (Image source: NextShift Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange

    GrayOrange

    The Butler from GrayOrange helps users with the volume and mix of orders common in warehouses. For many companies, flexible automation is the only viable solution. The autonomous mobile robots from GreyOrange are designed to meet these needs. (Image source: GrayOrange)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Swisslog

    Swisslog

    Swisslong uses customized Kuka robots to provide traditional high bay warehouse robot-based material handling solutions. Swisslog offers a range of traditional and out-of-the-box technologies for automated warehousing. The company offers modular, flexible and software-driven material handling technologies. The warehouse solutions are customized for optimal flow of goods at a low cost-per-pick. (Image source: Swisslog)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Seegrid

    Seegrid

    The Seegrid Smart Platform combines self-driving vehicles and fleet management software for a connected materials handling solution. On a Seegrid AGV, a series of stereo cameras work in unison to continuously capture and build a three-dimensional, computer-generated view of the work environment. Which means, when something in the environment changes, Seegrid AGVs compute thousands of up-to-the-moment reference points to continue successful navigation, uninterrupted. (Image source: Seegrid)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Moxi, Dilligent Robotics

    Diligent Robotics

    The Moxi from Diligent Robotics is a hospital robot assistant that helps clinical staff with non-patient-facing tasks like gathering supplies and bringing them to patient rooms, delivering lab samples, fetching items from central supply, and removing soiled linen bags. Automation helps hospitals maintain consistent care workflows and gives staff more time for patient care. (Image source: Diligent Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Locus Robotics

    Locus Robotics

    LocusBots are designed to increase in productivity. The Locus solution works with any type of tote, box, bin, or container needed. The robots can use multiple tote types at the same time to meet changing needs, products, or order profiles. The LocusBots are deisgned to make it easy to consistently increase units-per-hour and lines-per-hour rates, fulfill more orders, and scale on demand, compared to traditional cart or motorized cart systems. (Image source: Locus Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, MiR Robotics

    MiR (Mobile Industrial Robots Corp.)

    MiR develops and markets a line of autonomous mobile robots that manage internal logistics. Founded and run by Danish robotics industry professionals, MiR is headquartered in Odense, Denmark In April 2018 was acquired by American company Teradyne. (Image source: MiR)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, AutoGuide Mobile Robots

    AutoGuide Mobile Robots

    AutoGuide Mobile Robots designs, develops and manufactures high-payload industrial autonomous mobile robots for assembly, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution operations. AutoGuide’s Max N10 modular mobile robot platform is a natural feature guidance platform with a number of application-specific configurations available, including tugger, conveyor deck, car mover and pallet stacker. AutoGuide was acquired by Teradyne in late 2019. (Image source: AutoGuide Mobile Robots)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, KUKA

    KUKA

    KUKA mobile robots navigate autonomously, act in swarms and offer flexibility for industrial manufacturing. This is especially important for internal logistics. KUKA offers a mobility portfolio, from manually movable to autonomously navigating solutions. The fully autonomous variants work without any induction loops, floor markings, or magnets.  (Image source: KUKA)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Omron

    Omron

    Omron mobile robots are fundamentally built to serve human workers. Designed to meet the industry requirements, Omron mobile robots interact with people to promote a collaborative, safe working environment. Safety lasers and sonar allow our robots to detect obstacles in their path and prevent collisions. (Image source: Omron)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, iRobot, Roomba

    iRobot Corp.

    iRobot is the company that produces the Roomba. Roomba robots use Dual Multi-Surface Brushes to help thoroughly clean your floors. One brush loosens and agitates dirt, and the other moves in the opposite direction to extract and pull it in. (Image source: iRobot)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, IAM Robotics

    IAM Robotics

    IAM Robotics designs robots that act autonomously without the help of humans. This requires tight integration of acute perception, autonomous navigation, manipulation, and artificial intelligence. Te company designs operations that are optimized for both humans and robots. (Image source: IAM Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Fetch Robotics

    Fetch Robotics

    Fetch Robotics provides a cloud-driven AMR solution that addresses material handling and data collection for warehousing and intralogistics environments. The Fetch Robotics AMRs are designed to reduce costs and improve throughput, efficiency, and productivity, while working alongside people. Image source: Fetch Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug

    Aethon (TUG)

    Aethon’s TUGs can generate digital maps, routes, and delivery points, and the charging stations are simply plugged into the wall. An AGV often require fixed specialty signifiers like tracks, wires, tape, or reflectors to navigate. AMRs like TUG feature technology that includes camera- and laser-based navigational systems to allow safe operation in indoor environments. (Image source: Aethon)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Baylo Robotics

    Balyo Robotics

    Balyo robotic trucks are developed in conjunction with material handling company, Hyster Yale Group. Balyo’s range of robots are designed to perform in autonomy in tasks such as load transfer to floor, pick-up and placement of pallets on machines (conveyors, wrapping machines, etc.), medium and full-height storage, logistics train, barcode scanning, and storage in very narrow aisles. (Image source: Balyo Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Waypoint Robotics

    Waypoint Robotics

    Waypoint Robotics offers autonomous mobile robots with AMR architecture. The company has created a lineup of industrial-strength robots designed to be set up and operated by the workforce on the job today. The company can build customized mobile robots for a wide range of intended applications. (Image source: Waypoint Robotics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Canvas Technology

    Canvas Technology

    Canvas Technology was acquired by Amazon last year, one of a number of mobile robot acquisitions Amazon has made, beginning with the company’s acquisition of Kiva Systems in 2012. Kiva was rebranded as Amazon Robotics. The online retailer had rolled out more than 100,000 robots internally. (Image source: Canvas Technology)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, Material Handling Systems, MHS

    Material Handling Systems (MHS)

    MHS provides operational expertise and systems integration experience to put mobile robots to work as effective parts of complete systems. The company’s technology is designed to enable robots to build their own maps of the operating environment and use onboard sensors and cameras to process their surroundings, self-locate, and navigate based on real-time conditions. (Image source: MHS)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, Brain Corp. Whiz

    Brain Corp.

    Brain has created intelligent, self-driving technology. BrainOS enables commercial cleaning machines to work seamlessly alongside teammates. The machines are powered by BrainOS, which can autonomously navigate complex and dynamic environments with the goal of safety and cleaning performance. (Image source: Brain)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto

    Boston Dynamics

    Boston Dynamics offers a wide range of mobile robots. Some can walk, while others roll. The company combines the principles of dynamic control and balance with mechanical designs, electronics, and software for high-performance robots equipped with perception, navigation, and intelligence. (Image source: Boston Dynamics)

  • Mobile robots, Boston dynamics, Aethon Tug, Clearpath Robotics, Otto, 6 Rivier Systems, Chuck, Nextshift Robotics, GrayOrange, RealTime Robotics

    Realtime Robotics

    Realtime Robotics’ initial invention was a proprietary computer processor that quickly solved how to get a robot or vehicle to its desired target without collisions. The goal was to solve the problem of conventional motion planning which has been too slow for robot and AV applications in dynamic environments. The company is working on applying its robotics autonomy to autonomous vehicles. (Image source: Realtime Robotics)

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News . Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

 

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