Robotnik announced a new 6-wheeled autonomous mobile robot (AMR) platform called the RB-VOGUI-6. The robot looks like it’s ready to be launched into space and explore another planet. The design takes its inspiration from recent planetary robot missions like the MARS Perseverance rover. However, the RB-VOGUI-6 is very much designed for operations here on earth. The company says: “the objective of this vehicle is to work outdoors, but we have developed the system so that this mobile robot is able to work in (very) extreme environments and places where other 4 wheel mobile platforms can’t reach.”
Robotnik is a Spanish AMR manufacturer that has been building mobile robots for almost 20 years. The company has been active in standards development and it has invested in engineering several AMR reference platform solutions over the years. All of that experience is coming together in the new design of the RB-VOGUI-6. The company claims that the 6×6 (six wheels and six drive motors) system of the RB-VOGUI gives it more stability and traction than a wheeled system. This is exactly why this design was also chosen for the Mars Perseverance rover and several generations of Mars rovers before it. As the video below demonstrates, the robot can move over obstacles that are taller than the diameter of its wheels. The robot can also operated on sand, in agricultural fields and it can also overcome curbs in an urban setting.
Ideal for agriculture
The company believes that RB-VOGUI is an ideal platform for agriculture applications. The mobility of the platform enables it to go just about anywhere on the farm. The base can transport any number of payload configurations including cameras and other sensors, or transport material around the farm. Agriculture is evolving to be more data driven, and the RB-VOGUI-6 platform is the ideal size for transporting and moving a data-gathering solution throughout the farm.
The robot is able to turn itself 360º in a radius of 700 mm. The dimensions of the vehicle are 1136 mm x 829 mm (44.7 in x 32.6 in). In addition, it can carry a payload+cargo up to 150 Kg (330 lbs). As seen in the video, the robot turns by skidding, an operational turning solution shared by a variety of 4 wheeled robots already on the market. However, the 6 wheeled RB-VOGUI suspension enables it to climb over obstacles that would strand other 4 wheeled solutions.
The RB-VOGUI-6 uses the same electronic and perception package as the RB-VOGUI (a four wheeled configuration). The RB-VOGUI is well tested and already in operation at customer sites.
Robotnik states that they have not started shipping production units of the RB-VOGUI-6 yet as they are still in the prototype testing phase. However, the company expects to start shipping later in the year and is taking pre-orders from customers.