The time is ripe for industrial robots to make a big leap forward in utility and popularity, said Greg Cronin, executive vice president of Seegrid Corporation. One reason is that the newly available "quad" chip sets allow robots to process more information, make more decisions, and move more quickly, he said. Furthermore, the need for absolute accuracy, productivity, and consistency will make robots increasingly attractive for DC and manufacturing operations.
Like other industrial robots, Seegrid's machines move carts and pallet-loads in warehouses and factories, but they are unique in how they do it: The bright blue bots use cameras and intelligent software to navigate after learning their routes from a walk-through with human "trainers." Robots are evolving very quickly, Cronin said, and Seegrid's G8 model has already been upgraded since its 2008 debut. The G8's accuracy, reliability, and safety record has reached 99 percent, and the next generation is expected to be just under 100 percent while offering more decision-making capabilities.