Bosch Rexroth Promises More Flexibility and Usability for Mobile Robots With ROKIT Locator

Bosch Rexroth's software component, now available in the U.S., is designed to position and orient mobile robots in dynamic environments.

Bosch Rexroth

From a project to a product on the shelf, Bosch Rexroth's ROKIT Locator software component can create dynamic maps for mobile robots.
Bosch Rexroth said its ROKIT Locator product is designed to make it easier for mobile robot users to set up robot mapping and navigation without prior expertise.

The process of introducing mobile robots to a factory or warehouse can take months, especially if marking strips, tags, or magnetic tracks need to be installed and robots need to be trained. Bosch Rexroth AG said that its ROKIT Locator software enables robots to independently determine their positions.

Locator is designed to allow automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to determine their location and orientation in any environment, according to the company. Locator is compatible with various industrial controllers and laser sensors on the market and is suitable for mobile units of all sizes and drive types, Bosch Rexroth said.

The Lohr am Main, Germany-based company said it has global experience in mobile and machinery applications, engineering, and factory automation. It offers components and expertise for hydraulics, electric drives and controls, gears, linear motion and assembly systems, and software and interfaces to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Bosch Rexroth has U.S. offices in Charlotte, N.C., and locations in more than 80 countries, with over 31,000 associates. It generated sales revenue of about €6.2 million ($6.6 million U.S.) in 2021.

Locator designed for ease of use

Bosch Rexroth claimed that Locator can simplify the automation of intralogistics tasks in different industries without specialized knowledge or additional infrastructure. The software evaluates the signals from a laser sensor in the robot or vehicle and converts them into coordinates in space.

Users do not need permanently installed aids, such as markers or reflectors, for position determination, said the company. They need only one click to start up the system and familiarize the unit with its surroundings in a one-time orientation trip, explained Bosch Rexroth. The company provides a user interface based on 3D technology.

The software can automatically create a map of an initially unknown environment. Locator can store this map on the vehicle itself or optionally on an on-site server component, also offered by Bosch Rexroth.

If several mobile units are used, they all access this map. Afterwards, immediate localization is possible without initial knowledge.

If a vehicle detects a change in the environment, such as when setting up a new storage location, it sends this information to the server. The server automatically updates the map accordingly and sends it to all the mobile units in the fleet, said the company.

Mobile units purchased subsequently with ROKIT Locator take over the server data when they are put into operation and can drive off immediately, Bosch Rexroth said.

Bosch Rexroth AMRs

Mobile robots including those from Bosch Rexroth itself can use ROKIT Locator. Source: Bosch Rexroth

Bosch Rexroth builds vendor-neutral system

A wide variety of vehicle types, applications, and industries can use the Locator, said Bosh Rexroth. The software is independent of the hardware used by a vehicle manufacturer, it said.

As an encapsulated function block, Locator fits into numerous control systems and supports a wide range of laser sensors, including safety lasers.

Locator is already being used in AGVs and AMRs from varied manufacturers, noted the company. For instance, Bosch Rexroth’s heavy-duty MP1000R and ACTIVE Shuttle work with Locator.

Locator was previously available in Europe and is now available in the U.S., said a company spokeswoman.

The Dual Laser feature of the ROKIT Locator can use not only one, but two lasers installed on a mobile robot for localization and mapping, enhancing the AGV's robustness, said Bosch Rexroth.

Email Sign Up

Get news, papers, media and research delivered
Stay up-to-date with news and resources you need to do your job. Research industry trends, compare companies and get market intelligence every week with Robotics 24/7. Subscribe to our robotics user email newsletter and we'll keep you informed and up-to-date.

Bosch Rexroth

From a project to a product on the shelf, Bosch Rexroth's ROKIT Locator software component can create dynamic maps for mobile robots.

Robot Technologies