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16 June, 2024

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AI-powered AMRs boast high speed and accuracy

14 May, 2024

ABB Robotics has announced an AMR (autonomous mobile robot) equipped with AI-based Visual Slam (simultaneous localisation and mapping) navigation technology, allowing first-time robot users to program and operate entire fleets of AMRs. The new capabilities simplify configuration of the AMR T702 trolley robot and can cut commissioning times by up to 20%.

“Following our acquisition of [the Swiss robotics start-up] Sevensense in January, I’m pleased to offer our first AMR with AI-based Visual Slam technology and AMR Studio software,” says ABB Robotics president, Marc Segura. “This combination of mobile robotics and leading AI-powered navigation technology brings unmatched intralogistics flexibility and scalability for ABB’s customers, in an environment that is shifting from linear production to dynamic manufacturing networks. The AMR T702 is a perfect match for a wide range of industries, such as automotive, consumer goods and logistics, especially in large, busy warehouses and fulfilment centres where the environment is constantly changing”.

Visual Slam technology combines AI and 3D vision, allowing AMRs to make intelligent decisions and to differentiate between fixed and mobile objects in dynamic environments. The robots can create maps that let them operate independently, cutting commissioning times from weeks to days, while enabling autonomous operation alongside people in complex, dynamic environments. The maps are updated and can be shared across a fleet of AMRs constantly, offering instant scalability without interrupting operations and more flexibility than other navigation technologies, according to ABB.

Visual Slam is enhanced by the company’s AMR Studio software, which enables inexperienced users to create and configure AMR routes and jobs, without needing programming expertise. The software streamlines the setting up AMR fleets, guiding users through the necessary steps, from environment mapping to mission generation and system configuration.

ABB’s AMR T702 trolley robot can be programmed by first-time users

Once the fleet is up and running, the software puts users in control of what is happening on the shop floor. Intelligent order assignment uses algorithms to ensure that orders are distributed efficiently, while real-time visualisation and data monitoring provide traceability. The software’s flexible user interface also makes AMR fleets more easily scalable by putting users in control of system modifications and adding new routes.

The market for mobile robots is expected to expand at a CAGR of 20% from $5.5bn at present to $9.5bn by 2026.

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