BlueBotics, which provides navigation for autonomous systems, yesterday announced that it has launched ANTdriven.com. The new resource is intended to enable warehouse, factory, and supply chain decision makers to learn about a wide range of different automated vehicle technologies from across its autonomous navigation technology, or ANT, ecosystem.
In today’s challenging business landscape, warehouse and factory managers are increasingly turning to automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to ensure the ongoing competitiveness and resilience of their businesses. Whether these projects concern the automation of an entire facility or a specific process, organizations often face similar hurdles to adoption, said the company.
“Much of the time, a buyer’s first dilemma is simply where to start,” explained Dr. Nicola Tomatis, CEO of BlueBotics. “In the case of automating transport processes with vehicles like AGVs, automated forklifts, and AMRs, first it is important to learn about these technologies and how they work.”
“Then, there is the challenge of drawing up a shortlist of potential purchases that are proven to perform accurately and reliably, and which can scale into a larger connected fleet should a company’s needs evolve,” he said. “Finally, there is the business case to make, which requires solid financial projections based on usable real-world data.”
ANTdriven.com helps users find the best fit
BlueBotics said it has developed ANTdriven.com to help potential buyers overcome these challenges and find the automated vehicles that are the best fit for their businesses. It added that the platform provides clear educational content and useful tools, as well as offers free consultation with experts.
The company claimed that the site features a wide range of content to suit every visitor, no matter where they are on their AGV journey:
- Learn: ANTdriven.com provides a detailed introduction to AGV, AMR, and automated forklift technologies. Detailed webpages and downloadable guides explain how such systems work, how to calculate the potential return on investment (ROI), and what to consider when buying them.
- Explore: The site features two tools: a fully-featured ROI Calculator and a Vehicle Finder. This database of AGV options brings together the full ecosystem of vehicles driven by BlueBotics’ navigation technology, which includes over 90 models to date, with more to come. These products span numerous vehicle types and brands — from small, agile AMRs to numerous pallet movers and multi-ton transport shuttles.
BlueBotics cited the following potential benefits of choosing vehicles driven by ANT:
- Robustness: ANT-driven vehicles are highly reliable, offering repeatable accuracy, each and every time, it said.
- Flexibility: Vehicles are quick and simple to install – typically taking days, not weeks to commission – and a vehicle’s operations are easy to modify as a site’s needs evolve.
- Scalability: Many ANT-driven vehicles are 100% interoperable, enabling users to create a custom multi-brand fleet that meets their business’ specific needs.
In addition, ANTdriven.com users can request a free consultation call with a BlueBotics intralogistics expert at any time. This can enable users to accelerate their education and to have in-depth discussions about the best technologies for their operations.
“Whether someone has been tasked with automating a single set of processes on a single site, or they are a supply chain decision maker in a large enterprise who is looking to deploy one proven automation platform across multiple sites around the world, we believe ANTdriven.com can serve as a valuable starting point for their automation journey,” Tomatis said.
How to build the perfect fleet
While numerous automated vehicle suppliers exist today, a common challenge for buyers is that one producer might not offer every type of vehicle a business requires, noted BlueBotics. Even if a producer does offer a range of systems, an organization might be hesitant to rely on a single supplier for all its automated vehicle needs.
“The obvious way for a buyer to overcome such restrictions is to work with several different vehicle suppliers, but that brings its own potential issues,” Tomatis said. “Different-brand vehicles are often closed systems and cannot work together. They therefore require a business to deploy different mission and fleet management software programs, and to plan out different vehicle routes around a site. This approach is obviously complicated, costly, and inefficient.”
“By contrast, many of the vehicles driven by BlueBotics’ ANT navigation can work together seamlessly in one connected fleet, regardless of the vehicle type or even brand,” he added.
BlueBotics at LogiMAT 2022
In addition to ANTdriven.com, industry professionals interested in automated vehicles can meet BlueBotics' team and see live multi-brand fleet demonstrations at LogiMAT this week in Stuttgart, Germany. The company is exhibiting at Booth C19 in Hall 2.
The multi-brand vehicle demonstration will feature several different vehicles from across the ANT navigation ecosystem. They will run a small pallet-moving operation, all controlled by one ANT server software project.
Specifically, the fleet will include one automated pallet truck, one automated forklift, one omnidirectional AGV, and three AMRs from two different brands.
BlueBotics said it is the reference in natural navigation and has the mission of helping companies meet the challenge of vehicle automation. With more than 20 years of industry experience, the St-Sulpice, Switzerland-based company provides technology and expert support to bring their mobile systems successfully to market. Today, there are more than 3,000 ANT-driven vehicles in operation worldwide, said BlueBotics, which was recently acquired by ZAPI GROUP.