KMP 600-S diffDrive Mobile Robot From KUKA Designed for Swift, Safe intralogistics

KUKA said its collision-free "coworker" can take intralogistics to a new level, especially in the consumer goods industry.


The KMP 600-S includes eight individually configurable safety zones at the front and rear.
The KMP 600-S diffDrive is a compact mobile robot that can move up to 2 m/sec. (4.4 mph) and is safe thanks to laser scanners and 3D object detection, said KUKA.

Mobile platforms must meet strict requirements for industrial use, according to KUKA AG. The company last week said its KMP 600-S diffDrive provides its new automated guided vehicle, or AGV, with high-speed support for production intralogistics and a payload of up to 600 kg (1,322.7 lb.).

The AGV can move up to 2 m/sec. (4.4 mph). In addition, the KMP 600-S diffDrive is suitable for the everyday rigors of production environments, claimed KUKA. The robot's IP 54 design enables it to work reliably even under adverse conditions—including water spray and dust, it said.

Augsburg, Germany-based KUKA is a unit of China's Midea Group and provides industrial automation for healthcare, automotive manufacturing, and logistics, among other industries. The company has U.S. offices in Michigan.

KUKA designs for maximum safety, flexibility

KUKA said that all of its mobile robots guarantee employees maximum freedom of movement without the need for safety fencing. The KMP 600-S diffDrive includes laser scanners mounted at the front and rear.

These sensors allow for safety and high speeds in all directions of travel when required by cycle times, the company said.

“Safety is a central concern for us,” said Jakob Brandl, portfolio manager at KUKA. “That’s why the KMP 600-S diffDrive uses eight safety zones at both the front and rear – customizable for vehicle speeds and specific applications.”

KMP 600-S includes multiple interfaces

Engineers can add 3D object detection to expand the KMP 600-S diffDrive so it can detect obstacles from 50 mm to 2.1 m (1.9 in. to 6.8 ft.) above the ground. They can also link the new platform to a wide variety of workstations for specific load-handling options, said KUKA.

For example, the company epxlained, the robot can act as a top-load AGV, and it can lift pallets or cartons up to 60 mm (2.3 in.) via its integrated lifting device.

KUKA lifting AGV

As an integrated lifting device, the KMP 600-S diffDrive can lift pallets or cartons up to 60 mm (2.3 in.). Source: KUKA

KUKA.NavigationSolution provides fleet management

Users can start up the KMP 600-S diffDrive with a manual controller and program applications in Java, said KUKA. With an operating time of around eight hours, the KMP 600-S diffDrive can recharge in two hours.

KUKA.NavigationSolution monitors an entire fleet, KUKA said. It detects battery charge levels and identifies which vehicles are connected to the WLAN.

After initial environment teaching through the SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) algorithm, the software takes over localization in space (on the vehicle itself) as well as vehicle coordination (on a central computer).

The fleet manager uses parameters such as distance and speed to determine the best route on the network of paths – avoiding all collisions, said KUKA.

The global market for mobile robots could expand from $4.7 billion in 2022 to $8.9 billion by 2028 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2%, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forecast Research Reports World.

Infiniti Research Ltd. predicted a CAGR of 16% and growth of $2.1 billion between 2022 and 2027. Similarly, Technavio estimated a CAGR of 16.43%, with 48% of that growth in Asia-Pacifc.

KUKA said it plans to show the KMP 600-S at upcoming events, including ProMAT 2023 in March in Chicago.

A compact powerhouse that meets the highest safety requirements: the new generation of the KMP 600-S diffDrive expands KUKA’s portfolio of mobile platforms.

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The KMP 600-S includes eight individually configurable safety zones at the front and rear.

Robot Technologies