Soon every facility will automate its material handling operations, and technologies like Seegrid’s automated vehicle solution and Raymond Corp’s electric lift trucks can help.

All the infrastructure you’ll need is built onto the trucks; they’re essentially plug-and-play. Raymond’s automated lift trucks employ 360-degree stereoscopic vision to guide the way, as opposed to magnetic tape or Lidar.  A facility employing these VGVs can change portions of a route or the entire path on the fly because they see the way humans do—with depth perception.  There’s no need for wires, targets, or reflectors, so you essentially plug-in the route for whatever application is needed that shift.

VGVs have safely traveled hundreds of thousands of miles hauling cargo for Whirlpool, Volvo, BMW, and others. Along the complete spectrum from manual operation to full automation, the Courier also acts as a manually operated forklift; just step on the machine and you can manually control the vehicle with the ergonomic steering wheel. There’s no need for a remote control.

Because of the vehicles’ superior evidence grid technology, developed by Seegrid founder Hans Moravec, they can determine environmental changes in the routes, which is safer for the truck and anything in its path.

The Courier identifies obstructions from 16 to 18 feet away, and will slow down until the obstruction moves out of way, stopping when it doesn’t. A safety curtain also envelopes the vehicle and will activate a full-stop if the plane is broken.

Seegrid's vision system uses pairs of cameras like a human uses a pair of eyes to determine depth perception.
Seegrid’s vision system uses pairs of cameras like a human uses a pair of eyes to determine depth perception. (Source: New Equipment)

>> Read more by John Hitch, New Equipment Digest, March 30, 2017

 

Seeing is Believing: Putting Faith in Automated Vision Guided Vehicles