Mobile robots are getting smarter. OTTO Motors yesterday announced the availability of OTTO Lifter, which it called “the smartest autonomous forklift on the market.” The new system is designed to pick up and drop off pallets autonomously. OTTO Motors plans to demonstrate OTTO Lifter alongside its OTTO 100 and 1500 robots at MODEX 2022 next week in Atlanta.
OTTO Motors, a division of Clearpath Robotics Inc. in Kitchener, Ontario, provides autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for moving materials inside factories and warehouses.
The company said it has more than 3 million hours of driving experience with no safety incidents in demanding industrial environments. OTTO added that 70% of its customers are Fortune 500 companies, such as General Electric and Toyota.
“Over the last decade, our AMRs have solved material handling challenges for some of the largest companies in the world, but our customers have made it clear that there was a missing member of the team—one that could pick up a pallet on its own,” said Matt Rendall, CEO of OTTO Motors. “We’ve answered that call with OTTO Lifter—your new forklift driver. We put years of autonomous driving experience into OTTO Lifter, making it the smartest forklift on the market.”
OTTO Lift designed to be nimble
Lift truck accidents are a common hazard in manufacturing and supply chain operations. Traditional forklifts account for 10% of all physical injuries in workplaces that have them, an average of 85 deaths annually, and nearly 35,000 serious injuries in the U.S. alone, noted OTTO Motors. Seventy percent of all industrial accidents are caused by operator error, according to the National Safety Council.
OTTO Motors said its new self-driving forklift can drive nimbly in crowded warehouses and other facilities and improve safety.
“OTTO Lifter can make real-time decisions in complex environments,” said Jay Judkowitz, vice president of product at OTTO Motors. “Unlike other autonomous forklifts in the market, OTTO Lifter can find a pallet if skewed, adapt behavior in highly dynamic environments, and choose the best route on its own.”
OTTO added: “With dynamic path planning, lane tending, intelligent pallet detection, and stretch-wrap piercing, OTTO Lifter seamlessly navigates traffic and obstacles to predictably and precisely deliver materials to the right place, at the right time.”
With safety sensors, OTTO Lifter can work alongside people, other vehicles, and existing infrastructure for as low as $9 per hour, said the company. The driverless forklift is compatible with OTTO Motors' entire fleet of AMRs through its Fleet Manager product.
The company listed the following potential benefits:
- Specifications: OTTO Lifter has 2,640 lb. (1,200 kg) payload capacity; 3.4 mph (1.5 m/s) travel speed; 106 in. (2.7 m) reach height, 30 in. (0.69 m) in autonomous mode.
- Adaptability: The new robot is intended to navigate safely through high-traffic work zones and intelligently move at speed through low-traffic areas. Route optimization is completely autonomous and integrates with customer's workflows, OTTO Motors claimed.
- Precision: OTTO Lifter can determine if a pallet is properly seated, if it is centered or skewed, and whether stretch wrap is covering entry notches. The robot can also match its speed to the environment, speeding up when safe to do so and slowing down accordingly.
- Safety: Advanced safety sensors, paired with OTTO Motors’ autonomous driving capabilities, can reduce the risk of workplace safety incidents, said the company.
- Setup: “OTTO Lifter is easy to install and is up and running from Day 1,” said OTTO Motors.
- Maintenance: The company touted its track record of durability. In addition, OTTO Lifter is built with off-the-shelf parts to enable easy maintenance with little downtime, it said.
Robot available through channel partners
OTTO Motors said its products are available through a robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) model, as well as more than 80 integrator partners worldwide, including Honeywell Intelligrated, Matthews Automation Solutions, and Gray Solutions.
The company's systems are also now available through a network of leading material handling systems dealers in North America, including Eastern Lift Truck Co. and Toyota Material Handling Systems of Atlanta.
“With more than 45 years of experience, Toyota Material Handling Systems has helped warehouse and manufacturing facilities find and deploy the best solutions in material handling,” said Zach Smith, vice president at Toyota Material Handling Systems.
“When the team brought OTTO Motors to demo at our facility for the first time, I asked what I had to do to make sure that those vehicles didn’t leave my facility that day because I knew our customers needed what OTTO offers,” he said.
OTTO Motors to exhibit, speak at MODEX
OTTO Motors will demonstrate its systems at MODEX 2022 from March 28 to 31 at the Georgia World Congress Center. In addition to showing OTTO Lifter at Booth B4824, OTTO executives and customers will speak at the following sessions:
“Seeing Is Believing: Simulating AMRs for Successful Deployments”
Tuesday, March 29, from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: Theater B
“Fireside Chat With AMR Users: Lessons Learned in Business-Critical Installations”
Wednesday, March 30, from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m. ET
Location: Theater F
About the Author
Eugene Demaitre is editorial director of Robotics 24/7. Prior to joining Peerless Media, he was a senior editor at Robotics Business Review and The Robot Report. Demaitre has also worked for BNA (now part of Bloomberg), Computerworld, and TechTarget. He has participated in numerous robotics-related webinars, podcasts, and events worldwide.
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