Unmanned forklift is one of the most primitive, most widely used, and most complex logistics Robot categories. With the advancement of technology and the upgrading of demand, its application scenarios have changed from the initial plane handling and upgrading to high-level inbound and outbound loading and unloading trucks, and the technical difficulty has also changed from Simple autonomous navigation and positioning improves the operation accuracy, operation efficiency and complex scene adaptability of the end of the bicycle.
If the logistics scene with simple process and relatively standard goods is called “shallow water area”, then complex and changeable application scenarios involving factors such as man-machine mixing, random placement of goods, non-standard goods, and various types of trucks can be used. Call it “deep water”. At present, in the “shallow water area”, it is more common to replace manual forklifts with unmanned forklifts. However, there are only a handful of Robot companies that can operate unmanned forklifts in the “deep water area”, and Future Robot (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. is one of them.
Completion of multiple “first” projects
Future Robot was established in 2016. The founding team is composed of Professor Liu Yunhui, Director of the Institute of Robotics of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr. Li Luyang of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr. Fang Mu of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Dr. Lu Yujie of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. It has successfully delivered more than 150 customer projects and completed more than 50 field application cases of industry benchmarking companies, covering many industries such as automobile manufacturing, food, petrochemical, e-commerce logistics, and fast-moving consumer goods manufacturing.
As one of the first companies to enter the field of industrial unmanned vehicles, Future Robot is also the first company in China to apply visual technology to the navigation module of industrial unmanned vehicles. After years of research and development, Future Robots has made breakthroughs in four major “stuck neck” technologies, including high-precision and robust navigation, intelligent visual perception, high-precision servo control and large-scale multi-level scheduling of industrial unmanned vehicles.
“Based on these four core technologies, Future Robot has successively developed 8 series of industrial unmanned vehicle products, breaking through the application of difficult and rigid scenarios in the whole process of logistics nodes, and has completed several ‘first’ projects: the world’s first 6-story shift above
Moving storage cage stacking project, the world’s first 24-hour loading and unloading truck project for industrial unmanned vehicles, the world’s first e-commerce logistics warehouse project combining 5G and unmanned technology, the world’s first 9.4-meter 9.4-meter unmanned transformation based on stock vehicles Access project, the first domestic outdoor transfer project connecting industrial unmanned vehicles and tractors indoors and outdoors. ” said Li Luyang, CEO of Future Robots.
Case Analysis of Typical “Deep Water Area” Scenarios
Li Luyang, the future robot, believes that in complex scenarios with limited working space, complex ground conditions, and various non-standard vehicles, difficulties in entering and leaving the warehouse and loading and unloading vehicles are common problems, and even manual work is a complex and difficult task. . If we can design an unmanned forklift with high flexibility, it can adapt to various working conditions and vehicles, walk freely in a narrow space, and complete the handling or loading and unloading operations accurately and efficiently, it will not be a problem.
The application case of stacking storage cages with more than 6 layers in the auto parts industry is a typical “deep water area” scenario for future robots. The project is located in a Sino-foreign joint venture automobile manufacturing enterprise. The vehicle models manufactured account for 18% of the automobile industry. In 2021, the future robot counterbalance unmanned forklift VNP15 will be introduced to solve the problem of low utilization of warehouse storage capacity.
The project has two highlights, one is the accurate and stable operation of the 6-layer cage. The future robot unmanned forklift product integrates the self-developed “3D laser + vision” navigation and perception technology, multi-axis real-time motion planning and high-precision visual servo control technology, with a global positioning accuracy of ±10mm and a local operation accuracy of ±10mm. A 3-wishbone attachment is used to effectively ensure the stability of the effect.
The second is to load and unload the multi-layer cage at one time, which is flexible and efficient. Through the seamless connection between the future robot central control scheduling system and the customer’s MES, WMS, ERP and other systems, the vehicle is scheduled on the cloud by a method based on the combination of incremental, global planning and local conflict re-planning, and one-time fork according to tasks. Taking multi-support material cages increases the logistics efficiency by 2 times and provides enterprises with a fast and overall industrial vehicle coordination solution.
In the process of continuously breaking through the application of “deep water” scenarios, in addition to the application case of stacking storage cages with more than 6 layers in the auto parts industry, the future robot has developed a number of “first” products or systems in the industry. The “Bright Eyes” environmental monitoring system for cargo tracking and safety early warning, the 5G IoT-based vehicle environment perception module, the precise stacking module based on high-precision control, and the robot central control system that can connect to more than 3,000 systems and automation equipment. At present, future robots have broken through “deep water” scenarios such as unmanned loading and unloading vehicles, man-machine mixing, 9.4m high access, 2.0m narrow channel access, and stacking of mobile material frames above 6 layers.
Technology companies must first “define the problem”
At present, China’s logistics industry is transforming from labor-intensive to technology-intensive, and the trend of unmanned logistics represented by drones, unmanned vehicles, and unmanned warehouses has attracted much attention. In Li Luyang’s view, what robots will do in the future is to deeply integrate industrial unmanned vehicles with 5G technology, big data, the Internet of Things, and cloud computing, so that more “smart” industrial unmanned vehicles can replace manual logistics operations. Yu will attack the logistics robot “shallow water area” to “deep water area”.
The future robot is based on the passenger car-level unmanned driving technology as the framework, and deeply develops core technologies such as visual positioning, visual perception and servo control, and forms a set of high-precision, low-speed vehicle unmanned modules in the natural environment. It is combined with industrial vehicles and commercialized in the two fields of factory logistics and warehousing logistics.
In the face of complex node logistics scenarios, robots in the future will not stop, but choose to conquer, which is closely related to its vision. Li Luyang said: “The emergence of new business models has made the front-end business flow changeable, and then indirectly transmitted to the logistics link. We hope to use vision technology to enable unmanned industrial vehicles and promote flexible logistics in logistics nodes. process.”
Future Robot is committed to providing enterprises with a flexible logistics unmanned solution centered on industrial unmanned vehicles, that is, without changing the on-site environment and following the original business process, by deploying more intelligent industrial unmanned vehicles to replace Manual operation can effectively improve the internal logistics efficiency of the enterprise.
Li Luyang believes that for a technology-based company, the first step is to “define the problem.” “We shouldn’t create difficulties in order to solve difficulties, so at the beginning of entrepreneurship, we must rationally define whether the products we produce are beneficial to human progress and have practical value.” He said that as a technology entrepreneur, we must always Respect the pioneering spirit, market feedback, and scientific facts. “As long as we madly believe that we can change the world, we can really change the world.”
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