Loading and unloading cargo from vehicles is difficult enough for most people and robots, but doing so on rough terrain is even more challenging. Stratom Inc. last week announced a successful field demonstration of its patented ATLAS autonomous pallet loader, or APL, vehicle.
Stratom said it designed ATLAS to be lighter and more compact than traditional forklifts. The Boulder, Colo.-based company said the APL can efficiently and rapidly transfer oversized cargo and operate within confined locations.
While transferring pallets across docks is cumbersome with a conventional forklift, Stratom said ATLAS uses its proprietary powered rollers to streamline cargo transfer from the forks to racks, vehicles, and aircraft. ATLAS can be pre-programmed with repeatable operations or teleoperated via tethered remote control, it said.
ATLAS builds on SBIR contract work
In June 2021, Stratom announced that the U.S. Marine Corps awarded it a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 2 contract to develop a prototype autonomous pallet loader. The ATLAS platform promises to “exponentially increase the efficiency and safety of aircraft cargo-loading tasks,” said the company.
Stratom claimed that its APL can reduce crew needs in both military and commercial applications, ultimately increasing flexibility, dependability, and safety. ATLAS includes advanced maneuverability, favorable lift ratios, and cross-deck load shift capabilities, it noted.
ATLAS uses Stratom’s Summit software and can autonomously pick up and transport bulky 10,000-lb. 463L pallets between aircraft, transport vehicles, and warehouses across a wide variety of indoor and off-road terrain, said the company.
Stratom is a leading developer of autonomous ground vehicles and robotic systems for commercial and defense logistics. The company said it specializes in autonomous cargo movement, robotic refueling, robotic hazardous liquid transfer, and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).
In addition, Stratom said its military-proven tools, methods, technologies and strategic services can solve the most difficult operational challenges. Whether in safe, controlled settings or dynamic and challenging terrain, the company can provide systems tailored to meet each customer’s specific needs.
The service-disabled veteran-owned small business said its extensive expertise in research and development, engineering, and autonomous systems integration makes it “the go-to expert” for global corporations, local businesses, and government institutions.
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