Video: Otto Motors Shows Self-Driving Vehicles on the Mfr. Floor
Otto Motors is showing its self-driving vehicles in booth NC-660 designed for the materials handling industry, with what seems like potential for wider applications.
Otto Motors is showing its self-driving vehicles in booth NC-660 designed for the materials handling industry, with what seems like potential for wider applications. In the video above, you can see the lift-configured Otto 1500 (for 1,500-kg payload) in the booth, rolling underneath a container and lifting it up for transport.
Designed for palletized loads, these robotic vehicles can autonomously map their surroundings for safe, intelligent pathfinding through a facility. Basically, these robots adapt technology seen in Google’s self-driving cars for indoor, industrial applications. Just as human beings receive data about their environment and form a mental map to find their way, these self-driving vehicles take in data and form a map for autonomous navigation.
During the press conference at which I took the video, Director of Industrial Solutions Simon Drexler shared a maxim of a past automation colleague: “If you can define it, you can automate it.” Now, Mr. Drexler said, we can automate ill-defined or undefined tasks. The Otto vehicles are designed for both. The user interface for Otto’s software provides options for both automated setup for repeated tasks and manual, on-demand missions.
The Otto robots carry a NTB 56 safety certification and are designed with the idea that these will serve as a form of mobile collaborative robot, not just a point-A-to-point-B currier. While the company’s target market is limited to materials handling at the moment, it will be interesting to observe how collaborative automation technologies like this diversify and penetrate more applications.
This shop justified the robot solely through improved use of labor. Other benefits came to light after the automation arrived.
Several exhibitors at the recent EMO show in Hannover, Germany, featured demonstrations of robotic arms wielding live cutting tools such as end mills or face mills. Perhaps the most dramatic demo was presented by Delcam to showcase this CAM developer’s PowerMill Robot Interface.
Three major technological advancements have changed modern manufacturing. Pay attention or get left behind.