Self-driving vehicles set to transform manufacturing industry

Self-driving vehicles set to transform manufacturing industry

Self-driving vehicles set to transform manufacturing industry
Self-driving vehicles set to transform manufacturing industry

Otto Motors introduced a new range of self-driving vehicles for factory and distribution centers at last week’s International Manufacturing Technology Show.

The Internet of Things is already making big waves in the world of manufacturing, and many believe that connected tech is only going to advance in the area.

Start-up Otto Motors, a division of Clearpath Robotics, wants to take the tech to the next level by focusing on self-driving vehicles for factory and distribution centers.

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The future of manufacturing

Last week, at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, the firm showed off a new range of smart vehicles. Otto 100 is to cater for light-load transport, while the Otto 1500 will help firms with heavy-load needs.

The company has been in operation since this April and wants to bring to market so-called modular SDVS equipped with sensors to navigate manufacturing facilities and factories.

Rise of the SDV

Otto vehicles don’t require technology such as beacons or magnetic tape to function. Instead, they sport flexible navigation software that runs off the Clearpath operating system.

The system includes programmable APIs that use enterprise planning systems and a Dispatch App to help automate workflow and introduce work instructions.

These SDVs are similar to robots in that they have the capability of working alongside humans. There are self-learning technologies and sensors onboard too, which map areas and avoid obstacles.

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Autonomous approach

Users rarely have to interfere with the vehicles. They can autonomously navigate around locations however they want, although there’s the option to set one-way zones and limit the speed in which they travel.

In terms of Payload capacity, the Otto 1500 is 1500kg, and the Otto 100 is 100kg. Also, they’re fitted with lidar systems for safety, and their parts meet the ANSI B56 standard.

Simon Drexler, director of industrial solutions at OTTO Motors, said: “The OTTO self-driving vehicles offer increased intelligence and flexibility into material handling and it’s these types of advancing technologies that present exciting opportunities for the industrial market.”

“To integrate this type of technology into your building, users take Otto for a walk around that facility and it uses its perception sensors, which are its lasers, to build a map inside its mind – which is its computer.

“Once it has that reference map, it can freely navigate from any origin to any destination inside of the mapped parameters.”

“The really exciting thing about the Otto technology is that we are now able to automate the undefined tasks, the things that we currently cannot automate with traditional technology.”

“Otto offers an opportunity for our customers to take a leap forward into industry 4.0 with a solution that is not disruptive to existing processes and facility layouts.”

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