Automated guided vehicles — or AGVs — have been a useful tool in manufacturing and industrial environments for quite some time. The ability to transport materials has always been a necessity. One limiting factor, however, has been how they find their way. Whether following magnetic strips placed on the floor or reflective tape on the walls, the path is fixed. If anything were to block its designated path, the AGV would simply stop and wait until the path is clear — adding to the deliver time.
VERSATILITY IN THE FACILITY
Mobile Industrial Robots has a created a robot which eliminates the “fixed path” problem associated with AGVs. Unlike AGVs, their mobile autonomous robot “MiR” uses a combination of 2 SIC laser safety scanners, ultrasonic sensors, and a 3D camera to create a floor map of the facility. This map is used by MiR to plan routes and navigate through the dynamic environment that surrounds it — much like your vehicle’s GPS. Working with the map, these scanners can detect any obstacle in the robot’s path and plan a new route around it with hardly any hesitation.
MORE THAN JUST A TRANSPORT
MiR’s capabilities enable it to navigate effortlessly throughout its environment, but just getting the robot from Point A to Point B is not enough. MiR was designed with the ability to be modified for whatever job is needed. To this end, many top modules have been designed to attach to MiR in order to fulfill different tasks. For example, MiR may need to transport many parts at once or transfer a box to a conveyor belt once it has reached it’s destination. These tasks — and more — are achievable with the right top modules.
3 POPULAR TOP MODULES
Below are just a few examples of the versatile top modules for MiR mobile autonomous robots:
- Shelf Mounts
- Conveyor Top Modules
- Lifting Devices
The most basic top module for MiR is a simple shelving unit. This enables MiR to transport parts, tools, or any other manageable sized objects. With the shelf top module, MiR can move from one end of a facility to the other, making deliveries and transporting products.
CONVEYOR TOP MODULES
This particular top module for MiR was created by a company called OMNI Automation. It consists of a mounted conveyor that can be loaded at the end of a fixed conveyor, in order to transport whatever it’s carrying onto a new (fixed) conveyor once it reaches its secondary location. The conveyor activates to both load and unload the parcel. This top module is perfect for controlling the flow of products across a large factory floor.
Bila has created a top module as an alternative to the MiR Hook, for when towing carts may not be practical. Instead of towing a cart behind MiR, this lifting device will dock under the cart and lift it to be carried to its secondary location, using MiR itself as the transport. This device can lift and move up to 225 lbs, compared to MiR’s Hook, which can tow over 600 lbs.
These top modules show just how versatile MiR really is. With a little imagination, anything can be mounted to MiR to improve or streamline your process.
For more information on our flexible feeder solutions, contact The Proud Company. To request a quote, contact Inside Sales at The Proud Company at 412.838.0230.