ODENSE, DENMARK and HOLBROOK, N.Y. – Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) today launched its MiR1000 autonomous mobile robot, with the ability to automatically pick up, transfer, and deliver pallets and other heavy loads up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs). The company will demonstrate the MiR1000 and other AMRs at this week’s Automate 2019 show in Chicago.
Like the company’s MiR500, which was introduced last year, the MiR1000 is “a collaborative, safe and flexible alternative to potentially dangerous and expensive forklifts on the factory floor,” the company said. MiR also announced it was releasing artificial intelligence capability across all of its AMRs for improved navigation.
The company’s MiR100, MiR200 and MiR500 have been installed in more than 45 countries, at companies such as Airbus, Flex, Honeywell, Toyota, Visteon, and Hitachi, MiR said. Thomas Visti, MiR’s CEO, said the company built the MiR1000 in response to strong demand from customers of the smaller robots, who also wanted to transport heavier components, such as those required in the aerospace and automotive industries.
The MiR1000 features two flexible pallet lifts for the two most commonly used types of pallets – the EU pallet and the 40-inch by 48-inch pallet. Like the company’s other AMRs, the MiR1000 can be programmed via its user interface, or through the MiRFleet robot fleet management system. The company said its AMRs can also easily integrate different top modules, such as pallet lifts, conveyors, a robot arm or other options to support several applicatiosn.
“With the MiR1000, we are once again extending the possibilities for automating internal logistics, especially for those who want to transport very large materials without reconfiguring their infrastructure,” said Visti. “Manufacturers today must deal with ever-changing customer demands, which means they need flexible and easily adaptable production facilities. Conventional logistics solutions like forklifts and conveyor belts, and even traditional automated guided vehicles (AGVs) haven’t been able to support this type of production.”
He added the company has made it easier to optimize the transportation of materials without requiring rebuilding infrastructure or extensive programming capabilities. “Customers have seen that with our other robots, and will experience the same efficiencies with the MiR1000 and much heavier loads.”
AI and mobile robot navigation
With the AI capabilities now incorporated into the company’s software, as well as strategically placed camera that function as an extended set of robot sensors, MiR said its robots can now optimize their route-planning and driving behavior. The cameras, called MiREyesight, enable the robots to “detect and recognize different moving obstacles and react accordingly.” As an example, the robots will continue driving if they detect a person not in their path, but will park if the robots detect an AGV so it can drive by. MiR said the robot can also predict blocked areas or highly trafficked areas in advance, and re-route instead of entering the blocked area and then re-routing.
The company plans to showcase all of its AMRs and software at booth #7368 at the Automate show.
About Mobile Industrial Robots
Founded in 2013 by Danish robotics industry professionals, MiR was acquired last year by Teradyne, the owner of cobot manufacturer Universal Robots. In addition to its Odense headquarters, the company has regional offices in Dortmund, Frankfurt, Shanghai, New York and San Diego. The company said its sales have risen 500% from 2015 to 2016, and 300% from 2016 to 2017, as well as from 2017 to 2018. Last year, it was awarded the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Denmark.