Mobile Industrial Robot (MIR) Applications: Warehousing Industry
With the advent of the 21st century and the increase in global trade, there is been a great influx in the warehousing industry. These warehouses extend from a few hundred square feet to hundreds of thousands of square feet. Hundreds of pallet jacks and forklifts are employed a day, carrying product from one part of the warehouse to another, traveling up to a quarter of a mile per trip. Now imagine a world where all this was automated, where robots are employed to move the product from the dock to its storage rack and back to the shipping dock when needed.
MiR is an Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) that uses onboard laser scanners, cameras and a preloaded map of the facility to choose and define for itself the best path to go from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ within a facility, without any human intervention. MiR is collaborative, which means that it will never hurt a human being during its path or ‘mission’ and will not hit anything along its way. The biggest of MiRs can carry up to 500kgs or tow the same weight behind it. MiRs can also be used to transport conventional pallets.
With the most expensive, fully loaded MiR costing close to $50,000 while the cheapest one being close to $25,000, it is practically a bargain for a warehouse that is employing a pallet jack/ forklift operator to carry parts from one place to the other all day. A MiR in such a facility can pay for itself in less than a year, not to mention the efficiencies involved with a robot being able to work 24/7 365 days.
The capabilities of MiR to integrate with existing networks at the customer sites and its integration with the Universal Robot just adds to the charm. More and more companies like ROEQ are coming up that create peripherals around the robot. There peripherals enhance the AMRs functionality making it easier to deploy for more and more warehousing applications among many.