Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR)

Assembly Line

Ford Operates 3D Printers Autonomously

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Topics: Autonomous Mobile Robot

Organizations: Ford, KUKA, Carbon

At Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing Center here, Javier is tasked with operating the 3D printers completely on his own. He is always on time, very precise in his movements, and he works most of the day. He never takes a lunch break or a coffee break—he doesn’t even ask for a paycheck. Javier is an autonomous mobile robot from KUKA, and he’s integral to the company’s development of an industry-first process to operate 3D printers with little or no human intervention.

Typically, different pieces of equipment from various suppliers are unable to interact because they do not run the same communication interface. Ford developed an application interface program that allows different pieces of equipment to speak the same language and send constant feedback to each other. For example, the Carbon 3D printer tells the KUKA autonomous mobile robot when the printed product will be finished, then the robot lets the printer know it has arrived and is ready to pick up parts. This innovative communication is what makes the whole process possible.

Read more at Assembly Magazine

Wireless Charging Enables Industry 4.0 Implementation with Mobile Robots

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Authors: Pramit Nandy, Vijay Bapu

Topics: Autonomous Mobile Robot

Organizations: Microchip Technology

Modern wireless charging systems with increased efficiency and cost-optimized components have proven to be a game changer in a factory setup for a number of reasons. First, they improve productivity and reduce manufacturing costs in a variety of ways. They enable continuous operation with opportunity charging (i.e., using idle time to charge), and reduce investment since robots can be multipurposed for different operations. They also reduce human intervention because the charging process can be automated, as well as maintenance costs since connector and cables, etc., can be eliminated resulting in a completely contactless solution. Second, these charging systems increase safety and security. They remove the risk of sparks caused by connectors and short circuits due to contamination or moisture inside them.

Read more at Robotics Tomorrow

Amazon Shows Off Impressive New Warehouse Robots

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Topics: Autonomous Mobile Robot, Warehouse Automation

Organizations: Amazon

Proteus is our first fully autonomous mobile robot. Historically, it’s been difficult to safely incorporate robotics in the same physical space as people. We believe Proteus will change that while remaining smart, safe, and collaborative.

Proteus autonomously moves through our facilities using advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology developed by Amazon. The robot was built to be automatically directed to perform its work and move around employees—meaning it has no need to be confined to restricted areas. It can operate in a manner that augments simple, safe interaction between technology and people—opening up a broader range of possible uses to help our employees—such as the lifting and movement of GoCarts, the nonautomated, wheeled transports used to move packages through our facilities.

Read more at IEEE Spectrum

Yokogawa and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to Undertake AI-enabled Robot System Project for the Nippon Foundation - DeepStar Joint Research & Development Program

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Topics: Autonomous Mobile Robot, Machine Health

Organizations: Yokogawa, Mitsubishi, Nippon Foundation

The aim of this project is to develop an automatic inspection system that utilizes robots to identify and predict hazards in offshore facilities. The use of a wide variety of robots to enable unmanned operations and thereby reduce the risk of performing inspections on offshore platforms has long been considered; however, the centralized coordination of individual robots is complex as it requires the management of multiple systems and the data that they acquire. Yokogawa has already been engaged in the research and development of a robot service platform that centralizes the management of multiple robots and seamlessly links them with existing control systems. Leveraging the findings of this R&D, this project will build a communications infrastructure and robot system that is well suited for the environment found on offshore platforms, and utilize an AI application to convert for use in offshore platform operations the image and sound data acquired by robots.

Read more at Yokogawa Press Releases

GE Healthcare Achieves Lean Efficiency With Autonomous Mobile Robots

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Author: Jim Camillo

Topics: Autonomous Mobile Robot

Organizations: General Electric, OTTO Motors

Germain likes the OTTOs because they get material where it needs to be, when it needs to be there. This is essential, as the AMRs must deliver parts for more than 2,000 equipment repairs per week. Material flow efficiency is improved, notes Germait, because the robots enable pull-type supply chain management, where material movement is based on actual demand. However, material handling is not standardized because the facility receives different-size parts every day, and the parts often need to be delivered to different repair cells.

Hundreds of technicians work in the West Milwaukee facility, in repair cells that are 40 percent smaller since implementing AMRs. Downsizing the cells has also enabled GEH to increase its productive floor space by 66 percent and greatly improve throughput per square foot.

Read more at Assembly Magazine

How AMRs change the safety equation

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Author: Laura Moretz

Topics: Autonomous Mobile Robot, Worker Safety

Organizations: Fetch Robotics, Universal Robots

Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) have evolved quickly, and safety guidelines are catching up, forcing manufacturers to adjust.

Manufacturers and buyers want clear safety standards for AMRs from organizations like A3. They asked, “What guidance can you provide through a standard to help us understand how we can assess the safety of these devices?” Wise was on the committee that created Mobile Robot Standard R15.08-1-2020, the new Mobile Industrial Safety Standard.

Read more at Plant Engineering

Computer-on-Modules For Autonomous Intralogistics Vehicles

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Topics: Autonomous Mobile Robot, Intralogistics

Organizations: Congatec, TransPharm, Toolify Robotics

At Transpharm Logistik, however, the promotional products change frequently and come in different shapes, sizes and weights. Staff therefore have to pick them individually per recipient. Nevertheless, Transpharm Supply Chain Analyst Martin Zwiebel was tasked to optimize the pick and delivery process further. “Staff were using heavy, bulky carts to pick promotional products,” recounts Zwiebel. Equipped with tablets and supported in some cases by pick-by-light systems, they gathered the individual items from across the entire warehouse and then wheeled the cart with the complete pick to the packing department, where the promotional products were made ready for dispatch. “When looking for a faster and easier solution, it became apparent that a driverless transport system promised significant advantages,” the analyst continued. So, what was needed was an affordable robotic trolley that could autonomously find its way to the next storage bay following a predefined optimized route, and that would prove a constant and helpful companion to staff.

Read more at Robotics Tomorrow

The New Isaac AMR Platform (Full Version)

Where Four-Legged Robot Dogs Are Finding Work

Sensor fusion gets robots roving around factories

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Topics: autonomous mobile robot

Organizations: Omron, SICK, DreamVu

Adam explained that most manufacturing processes are organized around fixed conveyors and robotic systems. To vary the specifications of the end product, human operators are typically needed to move product pieces from one assembly process to another. ‘Increasing flexibility requires more people to handle the work pieces and push them around, but this human intervention does not add much value,’ he said.

For that reason large manufacturing companies are keen to deploy mobile robots to transport inventory and product pieces around the factory floor. These autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are designed to move and operate by themselves, which means that they must be able to perceive their surroundings and react to them. Visual information is crucial to aid navigation and avoid collisions, as well as to enable the robot to perform simple functions such as selecting and picking up the objects that need to be moved.

Read more at Imaging & Machine Vision Europe

Fleet of MiR robots at Mirgor in Argentina

Hyundai Motor Group x Boston Dynamics Factory Safety Service Robot

AGV and AMR: What is the Actual Difference?

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Topics: automated guided vehicle, autonomous mobile robot, intralogistics

Organizations: SYNOAS

In logistics centers and production halls, there are always a lot of pallets, crates, mesh boxes, racks and numerous other objects that must be transported. This task can be accomplished by forklifts with human operators behind the steering wheel. Increasingly, driverless transport systems (DTS) are being used to move goods autonomously from A to B.

These driverless transport vehicles include Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). Although they both accomplish the same tasks, these abbreviations should not be used synonymously: the two vehicle types are different and each of them has specific characteristics.

The A in AGV stands for Automated, while the A in AMR stands for Autonomous: a small difference with major significance. As the name suggests, AMRs operate autonomously, for instance by evading obstacles that suddenly block their path. On the other hand, AGVs travel on fixed routes and can only accomplish pre-defined tasks by following automated instructions. In contrast, AMRs make their own decisions when a situation requires.

Read more at SYNAOS Blog