September 26, 2019

Vecna and UniCarriers team up on autonomous mobile robots

Navigation technology and workflow orchestration could improve material handling productivity, partners say.

By DC Velocity Staff

Vecna Robotics is teaming with UniCarriers Americas (UCA) to create a line of autonomous material handling vehicles for warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing environments, the companies said Tuesday.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Vecna will integrate its autonomous navigation technology, learning algorithms, and workflow orchestration software into UCA's vehicles, turning them into autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).

That upgrade will empower vehicles from Marengo, Illinois-based UCA to improve material handling productivity by moving beyond fixed workflows and routes, and move bulk material through dynamic warehouse environments, the partners said. The new line will also feature autonomous tuggers and lift trucks capable of vertical and horizontal movements with material up to 10,000 pounds.

The fleet will also feature Vecna's Robotic orchestration system, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based fleet manager that distributes work amongst humans, robots, and standard automation based on capabilities, location, and operational priorities, Vecna said.

"Customer's expectations are changing too fast. Companies that restrict themselves to a specific workflow, robot, or AGV are not optimizing productivity efficiently," UCA's Brian Markison, senior director of national accounts and AGV Sales, said in a release. "This strategic partnership helps Vecna Robotics and UCA reach a very important shared objective - providing customers flexible and cost-efficient material handling solutions that reliably gets goods out the door no matter how demand or markets change."

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