This glossary of terms is maintained by the staff of The Mobile Robot Guide, and subject to change without notice.
Latest Update: 8/18/2021
|Ackermann steering geometry is a geometric arrangement of linkages in the steering of a car or other vehicle designed to solve the problem of wheels on the inside and outside of a turn needing to trace out circles of different radii.
|A payload that includes logic, sensors and motion, affixed to the top of the vehicle. Examples of active payloads include: manipulator arm; conveyor; lift; data sensing package; camera(s); screen/monitor; UV light source; biocide sprayer; RFID tag reader.
|See payload. A term defined by R15.08, but not widely accepted or used.
|Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS)
|Automated storage and retrieval systems, sometimes known as ASRS or AS/RS, are made of a variation of computer-controlled systems that automatically place and retrieve loads from set storage locations in a facility with precision, accuracy and speed.
|Automatic Guide Vehicle (AGV)
|A mobile platform following a predefined path (i.e., guidepath) indicated by markers or external guidance commands.
|Autonomous Mobile Manipulator Robot (AMMR)
|A mobile platform that includes a manipulator with three or more axis of motion.
|Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR)
|A mobile platform that can navigate using obstacle avoidance and trajectory planning rather than a predefined path (i.e., guidepath).
|A receptacle for storing items, typically used for stored bulk items such as inventory items or products for sale. See tote.
|Anything that is temporarily carried by the AMR or AGV as it moves from one location to another
|The device that connected to the vehicle and recharges the onboard battery.
|A safety function that takes a predetermined action (e.g, stopping, braking, decelerating) to prevent a collision or reduce the severity of a collision when an obstacle cannot be avoided.
|The process of calculating the vehicle's position by estimating the direction and distance traveled rather than by using landmarks, or electronic navigation methods.
|The process of reaching and/or connecting to another object in order to perform an intended task.
|Eaches picking is a warehouse workflow process, by which product SKU are stored in bulk on the warehouse shelving and then individual order quantities are pulled directly from the warehouse inventory location and consolidated into a specific customer order. Typically, this involves a cart with consolidation totes moving through the warehouse to each item location. Once a tote is filled with the items for a specific customer order, that tote is moved to a packing station where the items are placed into the final shipping box/container.
|Fiber Optic Gyroscope (FOG)
|A fiber-optic gyroscope (FOG) senses changes in orientation using the Sagnac effect, thus performing the function of a mechanical gyroscope. However its principle of operation is instead based on the interference of light which has passed through a coil of optical fibre,
|A supervisory function that controls the tasks and objectives of more than one autonomous mobile robot operating in a warehouse, manufacturing facility or intralogistics operation.
|Goods-to-Person fulfillment (G2P/GTP)
|Incoming goods are removed from pallets, either manually or automatically. The cartons and/or pieces are then placed into totes (smaller goods) or into trays (larger goods), and stored in high-density automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), carousels or robotic systems.
|Goods-to-robot is a warehouse workflow term that is similar in designto goods-to-person, with the exception that the goods are delivered to a robotic picking workcell where a robot, using vision guidance, singulates the SKUs and consoldates an individual customer order.
|Holonomic refers to the relationship between controllable degress and the total degrees of freedom of a robot. A mobile robot is holonomic if the controllable degree of freedom is equal to total degrees of freedom.
|The workplace where the public is restricted from access or not reasonably expected to be present for the intended tasks and robot applications.
|Industrial Mobile Robot (IMR)
|A definition from safety standard R15.08. A mobile platform capable of navigating through an industrial environment to reach a specified location.
|Inventory counting is the act of determining how much inventory is contained within the physical warehouse through a process of counting the inventory. Inventory control or stock control can be broadly defined as "the activity of checking a warehouse's stock.
|LiDAR (Solid State)
|Lidar, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the vehicle. A solid-state LiDAR has no moving parts (See LiDAR spinning mirror) and instead uses lasers build from solid state components and organized in an array to project the light.
|LiDAR (spinning mirro)
|Lidar, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the vehicle. The most common LiDAR uses a single laser and a spinning mirror to move the light beam.
|Robot localization is the process of determining where a mobile robot is located with respect to its environment. The mobile robot must be able to track its location within a larger global map, and when a mobile robot loses its location, it can become "lost". A mobile robot that is "lost" or "lost its localization" must be recalibrated to a know location (typlically a charging docking) within the map space of the robot. SLAM is one technique for building a world map while also tracking the robots current location within that map.
|Machine as a Service (MaaS)
|Machine as a Service (MaaS) is another name for Robots as a Service (RaaS). Machine as a service is a financial model for the purchase and use of a physical industrial machine. The machine may include a robot of some form. In a MaaS purchase contract, the buyer is paying for the use of the machine through a subscription-based contract. MaaS is differentiated from a lease contract in that the original manufacturer continues to own the physical device and carries the machine as an asset on its books. MaaS is becoming popular for many robotics equipment providers as the buyer can purchase the equipment through operating expense budgets rather than through a capital expenditure. The service contract for MaaS requires that the original manufacturer update and maintain the robot in good working order throughout the the contract life. The contract may be based on the performance or usage of the machine, and the customer may be billed a variable rate each period as a result. All parts and labor for preventative maintenance is also included in the RaaS contract. The original manufacturer may swap out the physical robot with another, equivalent machine at any time. In addition, the original manufacturer may provide remote service, via the Web, to remotely monitor, triage and repair, or recover the system. RaaS takes its name from the software as a service (SaaS) business model, popularized in the enterprise software market.
|Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
|Manufacturing execution systems (MES) are computerized systems used in manufacturing to track and document the transformation of raw materials to finished goods. MES provides information that helps manufacturing decision makers understand how current conditions on the plant floor can be optimized to improve production output. MES works in real time to enable the control of multiple elements of the production process (e.g. inputs, personnel, machines and support services).
|Mecanum drive is a type of holonomic or omni-directional drive solution for mobile robots. Mecanum wheels are configured in a set of four drive wheels and motors. Each mecanum wheel imparts a torque vector at a 45 degree angle to the axis of rotation of the actual wheel. The kinematics of mecanum drive is such that by combining the speed and direction of all four wheels, the robot base is moved in any direction.
|A safety function that includes the process of perceiving/sensing and identifying obstacles in the path of the vehicle and avoiding them by either stopping the vehicle, or change the trajectory and path of the vehicle so as to avoid hitting the object.
|The use of data from motion sensors to estimate change in position over time. It is used in robotics by some legged or wheeled robots to estimate their position relative to a starting location. This method is sensitive to errors due to the integration of velocity measurements over time to give position estimates.
|A mobile robot capabile of moving in any direction is said to be omnidirectional. There are a variety of drive systems that deliver omnidirectional motion, this includes legged robots and robots with holonomic or swerve drive.
|Packout is a warehousing term to describe the area of the warehouse where individual SKUs or order items are consolidated into a shipping box for a specific customer order. Order items can be delivered to packout as either invidual pieces (eaches) or in bulk. Associates who work at a packout station assemble the customer order and then ad package fill and close and (optionally) label the shipping box.
|A payload affixed to the top of the vehicle that contains no active elements. Examples of passive payloads include: shelving; tote/bin holders; pallet holder.
|Anything that is attached to the AMR or AGV.
|Person-to-Goods fulfillment (P2G/PTG)
|In P2G workflow, order picking Associates walk the aisles to pull order-specific quantities from in-aisle inventory locations. SKU items remain at their inventory locations until it’s pulled for a specific order. You may already have Associates pushing carts through the warehouse as they pull items for specific orders. Bins, totes, or boxes are placed on the carts to help singulate specific customer orders. In addition, P2G fulfillment also covers mixed picking methods such as discrete, cluster, batch, zone, or wave.
|Pick to Light
|A light bar at a pick station informs the picker what inventory location to pick from and where to put the item.
|Pick to Voice
|An audible stream (i.e. headphones) informs the picker what SKU to pick, where to find the inventory location and where to put the item.
|Radio Frequency ID (RFID)
|Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. An RFID system consists of a tiny radio transponder, a radio receiver and transmitter. When triggered by an electromagnetic interrogation pulse from a nearby RFID reader device, the tag transmits digital data, usually an identifying inventory number, back to the reader. This number can be used to track inventory goods.
|Robots as a Service (RaaS)
|Robots as a service is a financial model for the purchase and use of a physical industrial or service robot. In a RaaS purchase contract, the buyer is paying for the use of the physical device through a subscription-based contract. RaaS is differentiated from a lease contract in that the original manufacturer continues to own the physical robotic device and carries the machine as an asset on its books. RaaS is becoming popular for many robotics equipment providers as the buyer can purchase the equipment through operating expense budgets rather than through a capital expenditure. The service contract for RaaS requires that the original manufacturer update and maintain the robot in good working order throughout the the contract life. All parts and labor for preventative maintenance is also included in the RaaS contract. The original manufacturer may swap out the physical robot with another, equivalent machine at any time. In addition, the original manufacturer may provide remote service, via the Web, to remotely monitor, triage and repair, or recover the system. RaaS takes its name from the software as a service (SaaS) business model, popularized in the enterprise software market.
|A LiDAR unit that includes additional hardware-based safety circuitry that can set safety zone outputs based on the device identifying objects within specific safety zones. A safety LiDAR is compliant with all existing regional safety laws and regulations.
|Simultanious Localization and Mapping (SLAM)
|In robotics, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) is the computational problem of constructing or updating a map of an unknown environment while simultaneously keeping track of the robot's location within it.
|SONAR (sound navigation and ranging) is a technique that uses sound propagation (usually underwater, as in submarine navigation) to navigate, communicate with or detect objects on or under the surface of the water, such as other vessels. Two types of technology share the name "sonar": passive sonar is essentially listening for the sound made by vessels; active sonar is emitting pulses of sounds and listening for echoes. Sonar may be used as a means of acoustic location and of measurement of the echo characteristics of "targets" in the water.
|Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)
|In the field of inventory management, a stock keeping unit (SKU) is a distinct type of item for sale, such as a product or service, and all attributes associated with the item type that distinguish it from other item types. For a product, these attributes can include manufacturer, description, material, size, color, packaging, and warranty terms. When a business takes inventory of its stock, it counts the quantity it has of each SKU.
|Swerve Drive is a drivetrain for an autonomous mobile robot that is specifically designed so that the robot has omnidirectional motion along any axis. Typically, swerve drive is implemented with 4 to 6 wheels with each wheel rotating around the vertical axes. Each wheel is powered indepently with its own motor.
|A receptacle for storing items, typically used for stored bulk items such as inventory items or products for sale. See bin.
|Path planning with time as parameter.
|Ultraviolet (UV) Light
|Ultraviolet (UV) is a form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelength from 10 nm to 400 nm, shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays. UV light is lethal or damaging to most life forms. UV light is used as a disinfection agent for "disabling" microbes and viruses on a surface.
|A device, either a single-use card or an electronic device, that measures the amount of UV light hitting a surface. A dosimeter provides feedback that the surface received a sufficient amount of UV light to be lethal to microbes on the surface.
|Warehouse Execution System (WES)
|Warehouse execution systems (WES) are computerized systems used in warehouses and distribution centers to manage and orchestrate the physical flow of products from receiving through shipping. Warehouses are storage facilities for raw materials and parts used in manufacturing operations; distribution centers (DCs) are facilities that store and distribute finished goods to retail locations, consumers, and other end customers.
|Warehouse Management System (WMS)
|A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software application designed to support and optimize warehouse functionality and distribution center management. These systems facilitate management in their daily planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling the utilization of available resources, to move and store materials into, within, and out of a warehouse, while supporting staff in the performance of material movement and storage in and around a warehouse.