However, the training is not straightforward and can prove expensive and time-consuming; especially with the many health and safety regulations that companies must abide by.
To be awarded their certification, candidates must undergo extensive training for skills
like awareness and decision making, which are critical when maneuvering a forklift. Such
recruitment procedures are costly for businesses, and many manufacturers are turning to
automation as a result.
There are many kinds of AMR that companies can consider installing in manufacturing
or warehousing facilities. For example, the Freight 500, assembled by Fetch Robotics, is an
affordable option that has proven to be a massive hit in the industry.
But how do humans work around them? The Freight 1500 has lidar sensors and a forward-looking red, green, blue, and depth (RGB-D) camera that enhances conventional images with depth information. There are also LED lights that prevent robots from bumping into each other—and into human co-workers!
In addition, the machine comes in different sizes in order to be equipped to carry a variety of products that weigh anything from 500 to 1500 kg. This helps boost productivity
and save on inventory space.
The technology giant Amazon is one of
the larger multinational
businesses to have invested
heavily in robots. Amazon’s
robotic roll-out started in
2012, and it has spent $775
million on Autonomous
Mobile Robots (AMRs) to
carry products across its
facilities. The robots are
equipped with sensors for
navigation and to avoid
risks of collision.
Based on the success of AMRs like The Freight 1500, next year will see the first
self-driving lift truck enter the market, the OTTO OMEGA. A game-changer
in the market, the self-driving truck is designed for all industrial applications
and to help reduce materials handling costs, increase output and improve safety
The human-like OTTO OMEGA autonomously picks up and drops off products, receives and puts away items, delivers parts, transports trash, and works
with workers to manage complex loading. What’s more, the self-driving truck
can learn skills over time by capturing sensor data. This data can then be sent
to an engineer, to program new and improved behavioral patterns for the robot.
American warehouse workers walk from between 10 to 20 miles a day picking and placing products, according to Vox magazine’s Recode technology supplement. Despite the capability of AMRs to replace labor-consuming jobs, it’s
clear that these machines still require much-needed human co-operation.
While the threat of automation to workers’ jobs remains an ongoing concern,
few can argue with the role AMRs can play in reducing risks of injury. Regardless
of the stage manufacturers are at in automating their warehouses, it’s crucial to
consult an experienced obsolete parts supplier.