Karter Autonomous Mobile Robots
We are well known for our fully-integrated packing lines. Now we are introducing a quite different product range: the Karter Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR). An AMR is similar to an Automatically Guided Vehicle (AGV) or Automatically Guided Cart (AGC), but has a much more advanced navigation and automation system. This makes it easier to integrate in your operations: there is no need for lines on the floor or reflective markers in the building, or continuous commands from the control system. Instead, the Karters have laser scanners for ‘natural feature navigation’. Once they have learned the layout of your building they can find their way around it.
Autonomous pallet transport
Our first Karter transports pallets up to 1500 kg. In the near future we will also introduce models with fixed and lifting platforms. These AMRs can help optimize the internal logistics at current Weighpack customers, and new customers in industries such as food processing, pharmaceuticals and logistics/warehousing. We will supply them to both direct customers and to systems integrators. Initially we will focus on the Benelux, Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia, regions with high wage costs and a limited labor supply. However, we have already made our first delivery to a customer in Asia.
Smart, with many applications
Karter Autonomous Mobile Robots have a range of applications. They can make scheduled trips around your plant as an alternative to fixed conveyors, offering more flexibility and taking up less space. They can also be used ad hoc, collecting and delivering loads whenever required, anywhere in your warehouse and factory, to optimize intra logistics. As the units can spin around their axis, they can operate in tight spaces.
The units use proven BlueBotics Autonomous Navigation Technology. First, using the control software, a CAD drawing of your building is marked up with pick-up and drop-off points, doors, lifts, etc. Then the Karter is driven around under manual control and scans the building with its laser to create a map. Finally the map is cleaned up, combined with the drawing, and uploaded to the Karter. We can provide on site support for this commissioning phase. After that the Karter only needs to be told where to collect and drop off a load, and then finds the route itself. The central control system only needs to instruct the unit, over Wi-Fi, at the start and end of each trip. Our software interfaces with a range of ERP and fleet management systems, from SAP, Exact, and others.
Safe operation in mixed environments
While driving around, a Karter is fully autonomous and can be used safely in environments with people and machinery, as the safety laser scanners at the front constantly monitor its surroundings to avoid collisions. It only needs to spend 10 minutes at the docking station to recharge for another 8 hours of operation. String or other foreign material blocking a wheel is easy to remove and the units only need annual maintenance checks.
We are setting up a separate company to market the Karter AMRs. The units will be built at the Weighpack factory in The Hague, The Netherlands, where we have a demonstration system available. For more information please contact Patrick van Tiel, our AMR Commercial Manager.