Omron Adept has launched what it says is an artificial intelligence-equipped mobile robot.
The new vehicle was developed for indoor use by the company’s US subsidiary, Omron Adept Technologies.
Omron says it will release two variations of the Mobile Robot LD Platform in 33 countries simultaneously on January 20, 2017, as a “step toward realizing harmony between humans and machines in the field of manufacturing”.
The Mobile Robot LD is a carrier robot equipped with what Omron claims is its “proprietary AI technology”, which allows it to transport materials to a target location while calculating the optimal route and avoiding humans and obstacles.
The robot series is ideally suited for a wide range of indoor environments, including facilities manufacturing car parts, electronics, foods and pharmaceuticals, as well as warehouses and research facilities.
The January release will include two variations of the robot:
- a customizable original equipment manufacturer type; and
- an all-in-one transporter type with an attached cart.
The OEM type allows the user to optimize the robot for the intended usage environment by attaching a customized cabinet or conveyor.
The Mobile Robot LD utilizes a built-in laser scanner to detect its environment, and automatically maps space available for movement with the Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) technology.
The robot compares the map and laser scanner input to determine its position, and plots a route for transporting up to 130 kg of cargo while steering clear of obstacles and humans.
If necessary, equipping an optional camera allows the robot to function smoothly also in warehouses and other environments where items and objects move around frequently.
The manufacturing industry faces a number of challenges, including decreasing working populations in Japan and other advanced nations, increasing labor costs in developing nations, and a reality where a minor mistake by a worker can have a major impact on productivity or product quality.
The Mobile Robot LD contributes to the resolution of social issues such as productivity and product quality by liberating human workers from the simple, monotonous and exhausting labor of carrying items, giving them the freedom to engage in more creative work.