Market for logistics robots predicted to exceed $75 billion in 10 years

Mobile robotics in material handling and logistics will become a $75 billion market by 2027, according to a new report, which adds that it will be more than double by 2038. 

These staggering headline figures mask turbulent transformative change underneath: some technologies will rise and transform the fortunes of industries, fuelling growth rates far outpacing recent trends, whilst others will face with decay and obsolescence.

“We are at the beginning of the beginning of a transformative change, and the time to plan is now,” says the report by IDTechEx Research.  Continue reading Market for logistics robots predicted to exceed $75 billion in 10 years

DHL and Wärtsilä complete tests of mobile robots from Fetch Robotics for warehouse operations

Industrial technology company Wärtsilä and the world’s largest logistics company, DHL, say they have been utilising mobile robots from Fetch Robotics to streamline warehouse operations. 

The companies say they have completed a “successful pilot”, where they tested autonomous vehicles from Fetch Robotics.

The pilot was carried out in Wärtsilä’s central distribution centre in Kampen, the Netherlands, where the entire logistics chain of Wärtsilä’s spare parts, from order intake to customer delivery, is managed.

As Wärtsilä’s partner, DHL runs the warehouse operations.  Continue reading DHL and Wärtsilä complete tests of mobile robots from Fetch Robotics for warehouse operations

Sita Lab launches mobile robotic kiosk for airports

Sita Lab, a provider of air travel technology, has launched Kate, a mobile robot which the company says is an intelligent check-in kiosk that will autonomously move to busy or congested areas in the airport as needed. 

Using various data sources – including flight and passenger flow information – Kate can identify where additional check-in kiosks are required to reduce passenger queue times at check-in.

Kate, which was developed in partnership with BlueBotics, uses existing Sita data systems such as Day of Operations Business Intelligence and FlightInfo API.  Continue reading Sita Lab launches mobile robotic kiosk for airports

5G telecommunications networks being constructed in many places around the world

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Fifth generation mobile telecommunication networks – or 5G – are being created in many places around the world, including the US, China and Europe. 

Currently, the majority of mobile device users access either 3G or 4G networks, which both have significantly lower data rates than 5G.

The table below has some basic numbers for how fast each network is – in megabits per second – and dates of when they were operational, or in the case of 5G when it will be.  Continue reading 5G telecommunications networks being constructed in many places around the world

Aethon launches new autonomous mobile robots at Automate 2017

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Aethon has demonstrated new products at Automate 2017 in Chicago specifically designed to address the needs of manufacturers looking to automate material movement and connect islands of automation within their plants.

Aethon showcased new mobile robots and software control systems allowing their robotic platform to achieve Level 4 autonomy. (Full list of autonomy levels, as published by SAE.)

Aethon will feature the T3 and T3XL model robots, which represent the newest innovations in automated material movement.  Continue reading Aethon launches new autonomous mobile robots at Automate 2017

Fetch Robotics unveils expanded line of autonomous mobile robots

Company says it now offers “comprehensive options” for autonomous collaboration with transport robots

Fetch Robotics has introduced two new autonomous mobile robots to its fleet: Freight500 and Freight1500.

Both new robots, like the Freight predecessor, operate safely in commercial and industrial environments where they are deployed to automate the delivery of bulky and heavy loads.

The company and the new robots were showcased at ProMat 2017 in Chicago, Illinois, a few days ago.  Continue reading Fetch Robotics unveils expanded line of autonomous mobile robots

Mobile Industrial Robots launches new MiR200 logistics robot

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Mobile Industrial Robots, a developer and manufacturer of autonomous mobile robots for logistics, has launched its newest robot, the MiR200.

The company says the MiR200 is “a more powerful mobile robot in almost every aspect” than the company’s flagship MiR100, which has already been installed in more than 30 countries by companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Flex, Honeywell, Michelin, Procter & Gamble, Toyota and Walmart.

MiR says its vehicles are “a dramatic improvement over legacy automated guided vehicles”, which require the expensive and inflexible installation of sensors or magnets into factory floors for guidance.  Continue reading Mobile Industrial Robots launches new MiR200 logistics robot

If you enjoy doing the laundry, this could be your nightmare come true

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Startup company ThreadRobe launches “automated wardrobe”, eliminates laundry chores

There are few chores that Americans hate more than laundry, according to ThreadRobe, the Alexandria-based startup which aims to change millions the drudgery of the chore by introducing an automated piece of furniture that eliminates the need to fold, hang, and put away laundry. 

Users place loads of clean clothing from the dryer directly into the automated wardrobe’s bin – no sorting, folding, or hanging required.

The wardrobe separates, identifies and stores them. When you want clothes back, select an outfit in the mobile app, which notifies the wardrobe to retrieve and steam those items to your specifications.  Continue reading If you enjoy doing the laundry, this could be your nightmare come true

5G Automotive Association and European Automotive Telecom Alliance to develop new connected car standards

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The 5G Automotive Association and the European Automotive Telecom Alliance have entered a cooperation deal in the field of connected and autonomous driving solutions as well as standardisation, spectrum and related use cases. 

5GAA and EATA say they are dedicated to prioritising the use cases identified by the two organisations in order to establish the technical requirements that need to be addressed, both in the short and in the long term.

In order to better support standards for connected and automated driving, standardisation prioritisation for standards bodies such as ETSI, 3GPP and SAE is necessary as well.  Continue reading 5G Automotive Association and European Automotive Telecom Alliance to develop new connected car standards

MiR reports 500 per cent growth in sales of logistics robots

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Mobile Industrial Robots, a developer and manufacturer of autonomous mobile robots, claims it has seen “an astounding 500 percent growth in sales” in 2016, with over 200 MiR100 robots and accessories installed in more than 30 countries.

The company says it has an “ambitious” plan, and has recently expanded its global presence, establishing regional offices in New York and Shanghai.

With substantial increases in hiring in 2016, MiR also tripled the size of its Denmark headquarters, relocating to a new location that will support its ongoing expansion.

In 2017, the front-runner expects to further consolidate its leadership position with a new product that will be launched in Chicago on April 3, 2017 at Automate, North America’s largest automation trade show. Continue reading MiR reports 500 per cent growth in sales of logistics robots

Omron launches website to promote AI-equipped mobile robots

omron mobile robot for logistics

Omron has unveiled a promotional website for the artificial intelligence-equipped autonomous vehicles for logistics. 

The Omron Mobile Robot LD Series is a family of what the company calls “autonomous intelligent vehicles”, or AIVs, which it says is a “significant step towards achieving human-machine harmony in manufacturing”.

Since the LD Series was announced in October last year, customers from a number of industries, ranging from automotive and electronics to foods and pharmaceuticals, have begun deploying the mobile robots in their manufacturing facilities.  Continue reading Omron launches website to promote AI-equipped mobile robots

Beam me up virtually, Scotty: I canna change the laws of physics, captain

Kirk, Spock teleportation

lockA while ago, Robotics and Automation News interviewed Alex Boch about 360 cameras, and he said he would be developing a new product soon which would incorporate virtual reality. 

Now, having helped build the ALLie Camera, Boch – who is VP of operations there – is back in touch to talk about the device which he says gives users a better view of events than if they were actually there.

One of the events ALLie has been used for is the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, which Boch mentions in the Q&A that follows.  Continue reading Beam me up virtually, Scotty: I canna change the laws of physics, captain

Qualcomm confirms it is buying NXP for $47 billion

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Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors have announced a definitive agreement, unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, under which Qualcomm will acquire NXP.

Qualcomm will pay $110 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $47 billion.

NXP is a specialist in high-performance, mixed-signal semiconductor electronics, with innovative products and solutions and leadership positions in automotive, broad-based microcontrollers, secure identification, network processing and RF power.  Continue reading Qualcomm confirms it is buying NXP for $47 billion

Audi to test new autonomous driving technology

Audi A7 piloted driving concept

German automaker calls its autonomous technology “piloted driving”

Twelve months after the launch of the “Digital Motorway Test Bed”, Audi has presented new technologies for what it calls “piloted driving” and connected cars at the German Federal Ministry of Transport. 

The connected car aspect of the presentation will deal with car-to-x technology, with the “x” denoting anything – other vehicles and infrastructure, for example.

Audi says it will concentrate on “online variable message” road signs and infrastructure measures. One of the more difficult problems for autonomous car developers is teaching machines how to tell the difference between traffic lights and other lights, for example.  Continue reading Audi to test new autonomous driving technology

Robots are positively impacting our world, says Aethon

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By Anthony Melanson, vice president of marketing, Aethon

Autonomous mobile robots and self-driving vehicles are part of our world. How should you judge them?

Robotics headlines are everywhere: “China’s Impending Robot Revolution”, “IFR Report Offers Good News for Robot Developers,” and “Can Robotics Spark a Renaissance in American Manufacturing”.

There’s little question that self-driving robots, drones and other automated vehicles are integral to the present and future success of organizations in a wide-variety of sectors.

Self-driving cars are on a tremendous innovation curve and it will be exciting to see them develop. From healthcare to industrial material handling, robots are positively impacting our world. Continue reading Robots are positively impacting our world, says Aethon