Wise Robotics Introduce VisionNav’s VNP15 Automated Forklift
Wise Robotics announces the latest addition to its autonomous warehouse robot portfolio in the form of VisionNav Robotics’s VNP15 forklift.
Warehousing and logistics are the areas of industry where mobility, speed, and safety are all of utmost importance. Typical robotic applications can allow installation securely in a static cage for safety, but transportation of goods inherently involves the added obstacle of mobility. Autonomous forklifts must be operated with sufficient speed and precision to move loads efficiently, but the infrastructure must also allow accurate navigation and collaboration between the forklifts and humans.
Wise Robotics Solution
Wise Robotics (WR) is an industry leader in the development and provision of mobile solutions for warehouse automation applications. The company aims to offer its customers flexible and scalable robotic solutions to enable faster deployment for warehouses of any size. Recently, WR announced a partnership with VisionNav Robotics and a resulting expansion of its portfolio of autonomous warehouse robots to include VisionNav’s new vision-guided, counterbalanced VNP15 automated forklift. The VNP15 has been designed to accommodate high-density storage applications. VisionNav is an industry expert in artificial intelligence (AI)-driven, vision-guided industrial vehicles for warehouse and factory automation. By adding VisionNav’s driverless forklift to its portfolio, WR hopes to extend its automated capabilities to warehouse and logistics operators.
Wise Robotics specializes in autonomous transportation of logistical loads. Image used courtesy of Wise Robotics
The VNP15 Forklift
VisionNav’s VNP15 forklift utilizes an innovative counterweight design that enables it to lift 1500 kg to heights of 3 meters (roughly 10 ft). Advanced machine vision navigation helps to provide more precise positioning (with an accuracy of ±20 mm) and a five-level protection system can be integrated with existing systems and setups, all while providing speeds of up to 1.5 meters per second (about 3.3 mph).
The next-generation machine vision and laser-sighted simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) navigation work together to allow the rated accurate positioning. SLAM is a technique for building a map of an unknown environment, and it has been extensively studied in the robotics field. The process involves using sensors to collect data about the environment, such as laser range finders, cameras, or ultrasonic range detection. The collected data is then processed by algorithms to produce a map of the environment.
The head of robotics at WR, Joe Daft, commented, “The VisionNav VNP15 is an extremely sophisticated autonomous forklift. Make no mistake, this isn’t a forklift that’s retrospectively been automated. It’s vision-based, which makes it especially adaptable to current warehouse layouts – and one of the key reasons we are supplying it is because it’s compatible with all pallets, cages, and racks, something we’re seeing as a regular and important requirement of potential projects.”
Wise Robotics VisionNav’s new VPN15 forklift. Image used courtesy of Wise Robotics
One of the benefits delivered by autonomous forklifts is the ability to configure settings and to oversee operations wirelessly and remotely, reducing the extra infrastructure requirements. Instead of installing tracks and navigation beacons in the floor, this system uses codes on the walls and ceiling, identifiable by the machine vision, reducing the need to retro-fit a floor with expensive and non-configurable path location. Using this method, scaling development is much easier.
Equipped with many safety features, the VNP15 includes an emergency stop switch and acousto-optic alarm, contact, and contactless fork detection, front and side bumper strip detection, pallet in-position contact detection. With VisionNav’s forklift, warehouse and logistics operators can handle large and irregular loads alongside goods-to-person, materials movement, and production line operations.
The development of automated warehousing solutions has demanded rapid advancements in efficient and automated forklifts. Products such as the Wise Robotics VNP15 will accelerate the implementation of logistics solutions and provide innovative methods for navigation throughout the logistics and warehousing industry.