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What type of robots do they use in the materials handling industry?

Written by

Neil Martin

Neil Martin

A large number of varied robots are used throughout the materials handling industry. 

Some of the most popular are nifty things called AGVs and AMRs. An AGV is an automated guided vehicle and an AMR is an autonomous mobile robot. AGVs have been with us for almost 50 years. They are small, flatbed vehicles which are guided by magnets, or wires, and follow a strictly prescribed route. If they meet an obstacle, they stop. They cannot re-route. 

The big difference is that an AMR has a greater ability to navigate itself, using AI and 2D/3D vision to get around a building, avoiding obstacles as they go. The cool thing is that they don’t just travel from A to B; they can choose their own route, given the circumstances of the job in hand. 

Then you get complete automation systems such as inVia Robotics, which focuses on picking systems for ecommerce operations and the update includes inVia Connect, which streamlines integration, and the ability to automate replenishment, cycle counting and returns. 

inVia's automation system is powered by inVia Logic, which calculates and synchronises inventory movements for a variety of business cases, and inVia Command, which maps a warehouse and designs optimised workflows based on those calculations. 

And Scallog, which is billed as a revolutionary "Mobile Robotic Fulfillment System". Through mobile robots, autonomous workstations and smart shelving, warehouses can work more efficiently in a smaller space.

Whatever the need, there is a robot which can fulfil the role. 

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