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From the incessant tedious tasks on the company floor to the agricultural activities, hospitality, logistics, and more, the usage of autonomous mobile robots is changing how work is being done. Many establishments use AMRs for tasks that would have been harmful or impossible for human artisans.
What Are Autonomous Mobile Robots?
Those robots that are capable of moving through their environment, and understanding a given set of instructions without human interference are regarded as autonomous mobile robots.
To make it clear, autonomous mobile Robots are different from autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs). This is because AGVs rely solely on already predefined paths and tracks. It also requires the attention of the operator most of the time.
However, Autonomous mobile robots don’t rely on any predefined paths or tracks and are independent of human control.
AMRs are equipped with a sophisticated group of sensors, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, including computing power, this helps them to properly interpret and navigate through their immediate environment, untethered from wired power.
The cameras and sensors help AMRs to make use of navigation techniques such as stopping movement, and collision avoidance to slow, or reroute their path any time they face unexpected obstacles while going about their task. The obstacles could be a crowd of people or a fallen box.
In today’s world, Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) play an essential part in business and the establishment of all sizes and niches. AMRs practically provide the required intelligence needed to solve and overcome challenges that are facing the modern industrial environment.
Like humans, AMRs can make an informed decision when they experience a new or unexpected challenge and also perform the needed actions that can lead to the solving of the problem.
Autonomous mobile Robots can perceive and navigate their environment using a special type of already generated data, which helps them to recognize and consider those factors that are capable of influencing their AI-based actions.
This already generated data allows AMRs to perform different tasks successfully, from more basic tasks like stopping and starting to more complex motions like accelerating and maneuvering around seen obstacles.
With the help of machine learning, AMRs achieve optimum efficiency and accuracy, even when facing new challenges. In recent times AMR applications have evolved drastically. We now have a robot that can move more dynamically through industrial and commercial facilities.
What are Autonomous Mobile Robots Used For?
Autonomous mobile robots are employed in different sectors of human endeavors. Recently more industries are beginning to incorporate AMRs into their day-to-day activities.
Below are some of the industries that make use of AMRs.
Autonomous Mobile Robots In Warehouses.
Some warehouses today have a large space of up to 1 million square feet, most times such an area can’t be fully navigated by human workers across the course of a work shift. And that is where an autonomous mobile robot comes in.
By replacing human workers with AMRs, businesses can overcome some simple and common challenges, such as achieving maximum results for their operations and transporting goods across large areas within the warehouse. With the AMRs application, the time workers spent traveling across the warehouse floor is reduced drastically. Warehouse workers can also use their time for more complex and value-added jobs across other areas of the industry.
An autonomous mobile Robot is also useful in monotonous tasks such as lifting heavy objects i.e. palletization process.
Autonomous Mobile Robots In Healthcare.
AMRs are gradually finding their way into the healthcare sector, and many organizations have begun to invest heavily in this robot. Some other healthcare organizations are already profiting from their acquisition and successful integration.
The future of robots in the healthcare system is projected to be a bright one. Soon enough robots can be used as a radical Surgical assistance considering the rate of technological advancement within the health sector. As we write this an autonomous mobile robot is already transforming how surgeries are performed by making sure that all important supplies are delivered and disinfected adequately.
Recently, automated robots equipped with light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems, visual computing, and mapping ability are used to move patients around medical facilities. This has led to higher standards of patient care and a comfortable & safer working environment for medical workers.
The application of robots within the medical field is not a new thing, robots have been used across medical fields since the 1980s. Robotic arms have also been used to provide basic assistance during surgeries.
The advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics has continued to unlock many AMR applications within the medical field.
Autonomous mobile Robots in hospital logistics.
Logistics is another sector where autonomous mobile robots are very important. We know how intensive the labor is in the logistics industry. Some work has proved difficult for human beings to engage in, speaking about the danger involved in such work. However, with the use of autonomous mobile robots humans, workers can be freed from those tasks that are considered dangerous.
In hospitals, autonomous mobile robots are used for the transportation of drugs, and equipment throughout the hospital. In business, AMRs are used to take orders and then transport the orders picked from point A to B to boost safety, productivity, and efficiency.
With the application of an autonomous system, it means that logistics companies will be able to take care of their growing customer bases and changing needs.
In the hospital, AMRs applications are also used to disinfect medical facilities.
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Depth Benefits of Autonomous Mobile Robots
Autonomous mobile Robots, no doubt have given businesses several advanced stages and a step ahead of their competitors.
Here are some of the benefits that the AMRs application offers to any business or organization that employs it.
1#. AMRs increase warehouse storage capacity
Several warehouses prefer to store their goods in racks which limits the storage capacity of such warehouses. Now think about using AMRs to store goods in a tower. AMRs provide vertical storage and retrieval solutions that make use of minimal footprint by making use of the warehouse’s ceiling height.
Some AMRs are designed and coded to work with vertical lift modules by collecting goods from the tower and passing it to another AMR who then takes it to the packaging or shipping area.
2#. AMRs Permit Employees to Focus on More important Duties:
According to statistics, global e-commerce sales will rise to $26.7 trillion in 2019. This shows how AMRs are influencing the sector. With AMRs, the problem of labor shortage is Controlled for instance, during the pandemic period human labor was shut down and this had a negative effect on the e-commerce industry.
With AMR employees can focus on more rewarding tasks, therefore leading to increased productivity. Implementing AMRs can be a solution to labor shortages.
3#. AMR Can Increase Worker Safety
According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4.8 injuries recorded for every 100 full-time employees in the warehousing industry in 2019 alone.
This record also increased in 2020 and 2021 respectively. To find a solution to this, AMRs can be employed to carry out tasks that could be too dangerous for human workers.
AMRs can reduce warehouse injuries by accessing hazardous areas and performing physically demanding tasks which include passing through a very narrow space, lifting dangerous loads as well as avoiding the risk caused by falling objects.
4#. AMRs Helps Business To Improve Efficiency and Productivity.
With AMRs employees are sure to get ultimate support that will increase the productivity of the organization, according to a 2020 poll by Gallup, it is observed that employee engagement increases profit by 23%.
Autonomous mobile robots can assist employees with jobs like picking, locating, and moving goods, thereby allowing human workers to concentrate more on other productive tasks.
Some AMRs are low-powered, which means they require less power to function, which allows them to recharge and minimize downtime.
5#. Reduce mistakes and Order Returns.
With AMRs there will be no need for order return, this is because they are coded to obey specific instructions. They will bring exactly what you ask them to bring from the warehouse thereby streamlining your picking process and decreasing human errors.
A recent report shows that consumers return between 5% and 15% of products purchased online, but the AMR order return rate would decrease.
6#. AMRs Improve Organization
With constant to and fro movement of employees through the warehouse, forklift trucks roaming, and shipments coming and going, the warehouse can be a dirty and chaotic environment.
Even many orders in the warehouse can lead to clusters that clog the dispatch area.
With advanced mapping technology and simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) solutions, ARMs can interpret and adjust to their surroundings, no matter the challenge faced.
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Best Autonomous Mobile Robots
There are a lot of companies that are into Mobile robot making, those companies are located around the world.
Many of those companies are relatively young, some have not lasted up to decades and some have. But even though they are young Companies they are actively reshaping autonomous mobile robots for Manufacturing and warehouse operations.
There is nothing like the best AMRs, it depends solely on what you want the robot to do. So before purchasing an AMRs, you must have to understand what exactly you want it to do. After that, you can now choose the AMRs that you want to purchase.
Autonomous Mobile Robots Example.
A good example of Autonomous mobile robots includes the following:-
Cleaning Bots: these are robots that carry out cleaning and mopping operations. It is carefully designed and fitted with a camera and sensor which help the robot to navigate its environment successfully while performing cleaning tasks. An example of this type of robot is Roomba.
Autonomous Drones: Though those robots are not yet popular like the others but are drone-like robots that help to carry inventory from the warehouse and hand it over to the AMR which will take it to the packaging room or store.
Hospitality Bots: As the name implies, this AMR is used in the hospitality industry, it can work as a cleaner, a receptionist, or even as a waiter serving meals to customers.
Medical Assistant Bots: These AMRs are used as medical assistants in the hospital. It is responsible for bringing all the equipment required for surgery. It can also help to disinfect medical facilities and equipment.
Autonomous mobile Robots safety standards
Since the last decade, the use of mobile robots has been on the increase, and businesses and organizations are adopting these robots into their day-to-day work. At this point, manufacturers and integrators found themselves uncertain about the right standards to apply.
In 2020, the regulating body governing robot uses and manufacturing released safety standards for mobile robots. The safety standards are tagged “R15.08-1-2020”. This safety standard provided the needed guidance for the manufacturing of autonomous mobile robots.
We can now say that autonomous mobile robot Safety standards are those standards that regulate and guide robot manufacturers and integrators.
It is expected that these safety standards should be adhered to to create more human-friendly robots.
Autonomous Mobile Robots and logistics conference 2024
The autonomous mobile robots and logistics conference is an annual conference held by industry specialists. The conference aims to give a platform to Manufacturers and integrators to discuss how they automate tasks and solve problems with their robots. It is also an avenue for robotic operators, vendors, and thought leaders to connect and share new ideas in the area of autonomous mobile robot development.
The 2023 Robotic Applications conference was held on October 18 to 21, a three-day problem.
Autonomous mobile robots are robots that can move, and perform both simple and complex tasks without any need for operator interference.
With AMRs businesses and organizations can achieve efficiency and productivity. Warehouse injuries would be reduced if AMR perform those tasks that are dangerous to human workers.
There are safety standards that guide manufacturers and integrators to produce a human-friendly robot that won’t be hazardous to the environment.