Delivering on e-commerce: driverless warehouse vehicles

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Staff writer, Imaging & Machine Vision Europe


Warehouses are becoming highly automated facilities that rely to a large extent on vision, as Andrew Williams discovers

In recent years a growing number of companies have begun to use vision technology in automated warehouses and distribution centres, with devices like autonomous guided vehicles and techniques such as optical character recognition on the rise. Where are the key applications of vision technology, and what innovations can be expected in the coming years?

Self-driving vehicles

Another company heavily engaged in the vision and automation sector is Vecna Robotics, which manufactures a fleet of self-driving vehicles, including tuggers, pallet jacks and robotic conveyors with payloads ranging from 20kg up to 4,500kg. A key feature of each device is the onboard Vecna Autonomy Stack navigation technology. As Daniel Theobald, chief innovation officer at Vecna Robotics, explained, the company’s robots employ a multi-modal approach to sensing, and use data from stereovision, time-of-flight cameras, structured light cameras, lidar, radar, ultrasonic, infrared, GPS, ultra-wide band, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, accelerometers, gyros, compass, pressure sensors and current sensors.

‘There is no one perfect sensor, and choosing the appropriate sensor suite depends on the specific operating environment. Safety is always the first priority and this technology analyses billions of data points per second, enabling robots to react in real time to their surroundings,’ he said…