When considering robotics in material handling the first question is almost always about the efficiency and work provided by the AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot). The second question is almost always, “How safe is it?”
Workplace safety is always at the forefront of management’s mind, especially when heavy material handling equipment and products are being transported inside a busy facility. If you are in the process of considering AMR or other robotic equipment it is inevitable you will have questions and concerns about how this type of equipment will fit in with both traditional material handling equipment and pedestrian foot traffic.
AMRs are equipped with safety-rated LiDAR systems to both see and navigate around obstructions. For example, the OTTO Lifter (a masted AMR) has a full 360 degrees of vision, allowing it to detect the presence of people or vehicles.
OTTO’s line of AMRs has a perfect safety record with the ability to not only detect and see people but to work with them. The AMR will come to a complete stop when detecting someone in their field of view, honk its horn and wait for them to move. If the person or object does not move, the AMR will attempt to move around the obstruction, given there is enough clearance.
Autonomous mobile robots will control their speed when moving through spaces with other vehicles and people in their path. The speed limitation is done automatically without any input from outside sources.
Your ELT Systems Group engineer will design a workflow and system to ensure the AMRs follow the specific rules of your facility. OTTO’s software has the capability of creating:
- Speed limiting zones (pedestrian crossing areas, intersections, etc.)
- Limiting the number of robots in a given area
- One-way traffic
- Always drive on the right in a two-way traffic area
- Navigating around congested areas
It is safe for your employees to work around AMRs. We have even found that AMR implementation actually helps companies reduce product damage and accident reports.
If you are interested in automating your material handling application, make sure you reach out to ELT Systems Group and see how we can help.
Contact the systems group or Jason Dodge directly for further information and to get started on your project today.
Automation Manager | Systems Division
Eastern Lift Truck Co., Inc.
Cell: (609) 605-1043