September 01, 2015      

The Industrial TUG from Aethon Inc. transports and delivers materials in manufacturing environments.

This is a new product and builds on the successful deployment of over 400 autonomous mobile robots in the hospital environment and extends Aethon’s leadership to a new market. It reduces labor and supports lean manufacturing processes.

As a collaborative robot, it is able to deliver to the point of use. The TUG links previously unconnected islands of automation to streamline total production processes. The newest TUG is a true omni-directional robot able to turn on it’s own footprint. This is a major change to its previous locomotion mode which was more tractor-trailer like in nature. With this new industrial 4-wheel drive base it is not only more nimble but it is able to haul up to 1,200 lb. In addition, it is able to automatically pick-up and drop-off carts and racks that ride on its platform.

The open IT architecture allows other manufacturing IT systems to communicate and direct the TUG to perform its tasks. Common MES systems can send signals for material movement and the TUG will respond accordingly. This positions the TUG robot as a compliment to Industry 4.0 initiatives.

In addition to new MES integration, the TUG supports multiple dispatch modes including scheduled runs, milk runs, user “push” deliveries and ad-hoc “pull” deliveries. A fleet management system is a traffic control mechanism and determines which TUG should be dispatched for what request automatically.

The Industrial TUG from Aethon is currently deployed in major manufacturing plants globally to automate the movement and delivery of materials.