April 8, 2019 - Chicago, IL
Introducing the MiR1000
Today, from their booth at the Automate 2019 tradeshow, Mobile Industrial Robotics (MiR) announced the release of a new autonomous mobile robot (AMR): the MiR1000. With a payload capacity of 1000 kg (2,679 lbs or 1 ton), the MiR1000 is the largest capacity, autonomous mobile robot in their product line. The vehicle has the exact dimensions as its lighter payload sibling, the MiR500, but it’s built with larger motors, a more robust gear train and higher capacity batteries. The vehicle is expected to be deployed into material handling applications where the larger capacity is a requirement, including the transport of pallets with raw materials, unit loads or heavy finished goods.
The MiR1000 follows the success of the MiR500, which has been deployed at multiple customers since its release in June 2018. The MiR500 is handling pallets at most of these early customers. Specially designed MiR pallet lifters and frames ensure stable handling and transport.
The MiR1000 is especially optimized for long haul, intra-facility, material transport
Fork truck operators stage pallets on the pallet frames and then call a MiR500 or MiR1000 for autonomous pickup of the loaded pallet for transport to another part of the facility. The primary use case for both the MiR500 and MiR1000 is long haul, heavy material transport throughout the facility.
“We’re not trying to eliminate the fork truck from the facility”, said Ed Mullen, VP of Sales for North America, “rather, we’re letting the fork truck do what it does best in the staging and narrow aisle, multi-level warehousing areas of the facility. The AMRs can then transport loaded pallets over long distances across the facility. The AMRs do this safely, and avoid humans and other vehicle traffic to move throughout the facility”. Now, with the MiR1000 in the lineup, MiR is offering a complete lineup of AMRs to handle payloads from 100 kg to 1000 kg, with the right priced solution to meet a customer’s needs. “While the MiR1000 doubles the payload capacity of our large AMRs, I believe that the 500 kg range is the sweet spot for large capacities”, said Mullen, “but for specific use cases, our customers were asking for larger capacities and so we created the MiR1000”. Most pallet loads are under 1000 kg, and the MiR1000 is designed to handle loads between 500 kg and 1000 kg.
New software capabilities
In addition to the new large capacity AMR, MiR also announced new software capabilities and a new AI-based imaging solution for their fleet management application. “We are a software driven company, we are developing a unique front end, that enables the user to take complete control”, said Mullen. “We see the need for the robots to become more predictive, and distinguish between different types of objects”. The new AI-based vision system is designed to be deployed as a stationary overhead camera at particularly busy intersections or blind intersections within the facility. The video from the camera is processed in real-time (the AI element) and the data is used to identify objects approaching an intersection. The fleet manager software then communicates with any MiR vehicles approaching the intersection so that they can adjust their trajectory and avoid a collision before it’s possible for the individual AMR to see an object (like a fork truck or human) with it’s onboard sensors. “We believe that this new AI-based vision capability will improve both safety and help optimize path planning for our fleet”, said Mullen. Each individual AMR is already equipped with its own onboard 3D vision camera which enables the robot to see and react to obstacles in its path. This new capability is a novel solution to the need to optimize and control fleet movement in busy, congested areas of a facility.
If you are in Chicago this week for the Automate and ProMAT 2019 tradeshows, be sure to stop by the MIR booth (Automate 7368) and check out the new products. Otherwise, you will be able to find more information on the MiR website.