autonomous mobile robots

Increasing Demand For Autonomous Mobile Robots

Over the last number of years, the global autonomous mobile robots’ (AMR) market has grown significantly. In 2019 its market size was valued at USD 1.9 billion. From 2020 to 2027 it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.6% (Grand View Research- Autonomous Mobile Robots market size, 2020-2027).

A rising demand for automation solutions combined with growth in ecommerce has propelled the increase in the adoption of AMR’s. Ecommerce companies are using AMRs to improve operational efficiencies of the big warehouses and distribution centers they operate. The impact of the pandemic has led to many companies striving to optimize their workflow and futureproof their business. As a result more companies are investing in automation.  A growing interest in ‘lights out’ automation combined with the AMR’s ability to navigate independently in dynamic environments  has added to the increase in demand.

AMRs are used within manufacturing and distribution facilities to pick up, transport, and sort items without any manual interventions. AMRs come equipped with vision cameras, onboard sensors, and the use of integrated facility maps to help perform various operations autonomously.

 

MiR – Global Market Leader of Autonomous Mobile Robots

Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) is the world’s leading manufacturer of Autonomous Mobile Robots. They were officially founded in Odense, Denmark back in May of 2013 with the goal of optimizing internal logistics. MiR are focused on developing user-friendly, flexible, and safe mobile robots to help companies increase the efficiency of their operations. The autonomous robots from MiR are a new generation of advanced mobile robots that give a quick return on investment. Manufacturers in multiple industries across numerous sectors use these collaborative mobile robots to automate their internal transportation and material handling.

MiR continue to innovate, and their fleet has recently seen the addition of two more mobile robots, the MiR1350 and the MiR600. These new AMR’s were designed for the customers need for more powerful and robust AMR’s with an ability to autonomously transport heavier materials. The MiR600 and MiR1350 can autonomously carry payloads of 600kg (1322 lbs) and 1350kg (2976 lbs) respectively. MiR’s latest additions come with the high performance and quality that is synonymous with the MiR brand.

Things to Consider before Implementing MiR AMR’s

MiR robots have been designed with end-users in mind. Their systems are easy to customize for a wide range of applications and facilities.  However, there are several things you should consider before you invest in a MiR Robot to ensure the highest level of production efficiency and safety.

Payload Capacity and Positioning:

When looking to implement AMRs it is important to look at what sort of payload you are looking to automate. Indeed this will determine what size MiR is required for your operation. It is also important to consider the positioning of that payload. Even if your items are under the payload capacity of the robot, if the positioning is incorrect, it could cause the robot to overturn and become a tripping hazard for your employees. Therefore, you will need to consider payload stability and positioning when  loading your AMR.

Obstacle Detection and Stopping

Fully loaded AMR’s will need more time to stop.  The MiR robot comes with a dual-laser scanner system , a multi sensor safety system and 3D cameras which all work together to enable autonomous and safe navigation in daily operations. The integrated safety system allows the AMR to detect obstacles that may come in its path giving it enough time and distance to come to a smooth stop. Once stopped the AMR will then re-calculate to find the best route to carry on smoothly and without disruption. Manufacturers can set up different zones and allow for different speeds depending on the situation. Stopping distances can then be calculated based on the speed the robot is traveling. They can then use these stopping distance to program each zone into their area scanners to react to unexpected obstacles depending on the level of severity.

Environment

The surface a mobile robot travels on can have a major impact on its balance and ability to stop safely. If the environment the robot will operate in has an uneven, wet, cluttered, or inclined surface, then the robot’s center of gravity may be affected. To make the AMR aware of its environment, manual teaching or a walk-around would be recommended. This gives the manufacturer the ability to define angles of incline or decline and to avoid exceeding this specification to get optimal efficiency.

Emergency Planning & Evacuation

It is essential to have an emergency plan for any manufacturing facility. If mobile robots are part of the working environment, manufacturers should incorporate them into the evacuation plan. You have the option to tie in the MiR’s internal messaging system with the facility’s external alarm. This way the robot will respond instantly when an emergency occurs. During an emergency each robot will immediately move away from the dedicated evacuation paths, allowing employees to safely pass by.

Communication 

Will you have more than one AMR in your facility? If so, you will need to be able to monitor and control these AMR’s all at once.  This can be done through MiR’s fleet management software, a centralized control system to manage priorities and select the most suitable robot for an operation. It will coordinate data between robots, manage traffic control and handle automatic charging of your fleet.

The highly flexible and scalable MiR AMRs are used across multiple industries for a wide range of processes. They are typically less expensive and easier to deploy than traditional automation and can be used safely alongside your employees.  Mobile Robots are there to take over repetitive, hard-to-staff, and mundane tasks. They can run autonomously around the clock, which will free up employees to carry out more high-value tasks throughout the day increasing productivity and efficiency.