Chicago – Best Robots and Technology from ProMat 2023: ProMat 2023, the top trade event for material handling and logistics solutions, will include the finest robotics and technology. For the purpose of showcasing the most recent developments in robotics, automation, and other technologies that are revolutionising the way we transport and handle commodities, this event brings together thought leaders and innovators from the industry. We’ll look at some of the most amazing robots and technologies on show at ProMat 2023 in this post, along with how they’re going to change the way logistics is done. There is no shortage of cutting-edge technology to learn about, from driverless cars and drones to robotic arms and smart sensors. So let’s delve in and examine some of the most intriguing ideas on show at ProMat 2023 in more detail.
Best Robots and Technology from ProMat 2023
The Agility Robotics display was busy the whole time, and with good reason. You don’t get to see a bipedal robot in action very often. According to Agility, Digit’s demo ran across the four days of the show and was based on a real client use case. ProMat’s Best New Innovation Award went to Digit.At the moment, Digit only works in enclosed spaces away from people; if human employees go too close, Digit will even shut down. The robot can help stop workplace accidents from lifting heavy objects or cuts from human employees handling damaged containers.
The result of more than 20 years of research and development is Digit. While the company first considered a variety of use cases for a bipedal robot, from sprinting into oncoming fires to making last-mile deliveries, it ultimately focused on automating a work that must be performed and that Digit can safely and effectively complete. With the assertion that Digit could perform at a rate of $10/hour for activities like the one it displayed at ProMat, Agility is getting ready to start mass producing the device.
Boston Dynamics showed its Stretch case-handling robot at the event. Despite the fact that the boxes Stretch was dealing with were not extremely diversified, it flawlessly proved its trailer unloading abilities. At client sites, Stretch is already in use, and more are on the way. Future plans for the robot look to be much more ambitious according to Boston Dynamics. AMRs transported the pallets to other Stretch robots, who then placed the boxes into a truck. The display at the exhibit featured an animated Stretch robot speeding around a warehouse stacking pallets on top of AMRs.
Stretch is now restricted to its current unloading purpose due to safety regulations that keep Stretch walled off and away from people. This method of container unloading was shown by Pickle Robot. It has suction grippers and a modified Kuka arm that allow it to pick up and drop objects weighing up to 65 pounds onto a conveyor. The inbuilt vision system chooses which box will be chosen next. Once more, the boxes’ dimensions and shape were quite consistent. Below is a comparison of the Boston Dynamics and Pickle systems
Bin-picking robots were not exclusively displayed by RightHand Robotics, but theirs were the most reliable and adaptable. Throughout the whole time people did numerous times throughout the exhibition, RightPick did not miss a single pick. Additionally, RightHand demonstrated a self-driving suction cup changer. Four distinct suction cups are available to the integrated robot arm in front of a demonstration workcell. RightHand understands which suction cup has the highest likelihood of successfully identifying an object based on all the data it has collected over the years.
In February 2023, Autopicker was presented, and it was exciting to witness it in use for the first time. The Brightpick Autopicker roams throughout warehouses, removing totes from storage and robotically selecting items to combine orders in aisles. This process does away with the requirement for a human picker to take items out of totes, a common characteristic of many similar robotic systems. At ProMat, an autopicker was selecting meals for participants. During the show, it was only moving totes from one side of the robot. The model that will be utilised in client warehouses, though, will have the ability to pull from both sides, allowing it to roll between shelves and switch between dragging totes from behind and in front of the robot.
At ProMat, the iconic truck unloading demo was done differently by Mujin. The robot can unload up to 1,000 cases every hour, according to the maker. The design of TruckBot aims to address the difficulties of emptying floor-loaded trucks and containers. The robot can reach up to 52 feet into a trailer truck or cargo container and is made to attach to common telescopic conveyors found at many loading ports. At ProMat, TruckBot was working with Mujin’s palletizing robot to organise cases onto pallets for storage.
Although Tuskrobots used a new approach to moving pallets, autonomous forklifts were another common sight during the expo. Instead of the conventional automated forklift design, Tuskrobots’ autonomous pallet handler raises the pallet with tongs by slipping two prongs underneath it. After then, the pallet is pushed underneath the remaining AMR. The pallet may drive to the next position after it is on top of the AMR, elevate it once more, slide out from underneath it, lower it, and then re-slid its prongs into the AMR. The robot is just slightly bigger than its load due to its innovative pallet picking method, which enables it to operate in high-density storage facilities.
Tuskrobots’ autonomous pallet handler
The exosuit offered by Verve Motion, which split from Harvard in 2020, is designed to reduce 40% of the strain placed on workers when they lift. While the exosuit might help employees keep a steady pace throughout their shift, the company’s objective is to make workplaces safer for employees and reduce workplace accidents. Home Depot was using the system to demonstrate it by repeatedly lifting a case of water and a loaded tote. The company claims that employees frequently carry items weighing up to 75 pounds from the floor onto a pallet.
It was easy to adjust and just only a few minutes to put on. A hefty tote gives a pull across the back when you lift and lower it, easing the strain on your back. There are three positions for ProMat’s suit: neutral, lifting by itself, and lifting and putting down. Users can change between modes by pressing a button that is located near their shoulder. To fit the demands of the client, these characteristics might be modified.
Slip Robotics demonstrated their ATLS (Automated trailer loading/unloading system). The omnidirectional robot can handle up to 8 complete pallets and a total weight of 6 tonnes. It drives independently into a tractor-trailer for shipment to the next location. A conventional tractor-trailer may house three ATLS robots.
Fork truck drivers load and unload pallets onto the Slip ATLS on the open loading dock rather than going inside the trailer. The Slip ATLS drives off the trailer and onto the dock to unload and reload the load after following the freight to its final destination. After that, the ATLS robots would be loaded onto the trailer for an immediate departure. According to Slip, the sealed lead acid batteries used in its robots are free from federal hazardous restrictions for land shipment.
The exosuit offered by Verve Motion, which split from Harvard in 2020, is designed to reduce 40% of the strain placed on workers when they lift. While the exosuit might help employees keep a steady pace throughout their shift, the company’s objective is to make workplaces safer for employees and reduce workplace accidents. When we were there, Home Depot was using the system to demonstrate it by repeatedly lifting a case of water and a loaded tote. The company claims that employees frequently carry items weighing up to 75 pounds from the floor onto a pallet.
A hefty tote gives a pull across the back when you lift and lower it, easing the strain on your back. There are three positions for ProMat’s suit: neutral, lifting by itself, and lifting and putting down. Users can change between modes by pressing a button that is located near their shoulder. To fit the demands of the client, these characteristics might be modified.
Last but not least, ProMat 2023 featured some of the most outstanding robots and technology in the logistics and material handling industries. The event featured the most recent developments that are revolutionising the business, including driverless cars, drones, sophisticated robots, and smart sensors. The innovations on show provide visitors a peek of the logistics of the future, where automation and robots will be crucial to boosting productivity, cutting costs, and enhancing safety.
We may anticipate seeing many more ground-breaking ideas in the years to come as these technologies continue to advance. Overall, ProMat 2023 provided proof of the remarkable advancements being made in the logistics technology sector, and we are eager to see what the future will bring.