Inbound Logistics | January 2024

$3.6 Billion Defying the global economic slowdown, the mobile robot market grew by 33% in 2022, generating $3.6 billion in revenue, says Ash Sharma, managing director at Interact Analysis. Expect further growth of 45% in 2023 and more than 30% in 2024, he says.

Finetuning Robot Paths To help companies optimize manufacturing processes and reduce cycle times, Realtime Robotics launched an Optimization-as- a-Service solution for industrial robots in November 2023. One month later, it partnered with HLS Engineering Group, which specializes in integrated engineering, to enhance the o‰ering. The combined solution lets manufacturers analyze and optimize their automation cells, improving eŠciency and productivity within weeks instead of several months. HLS’ scanning technology is utilized to virtualize a customer’s cells, collecting data and creating a digital twin of their manufacturing operations. The solution uses that information to analyze and identify any production bottlenecks. It rapidly generates and tests hundreds of thousands of potential robot paths, determining the best motion sequences based on target assignment, robot reach, and any other parameters requested by customers. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Hanover, Germany, recently used the service and reduced its cycle time by several seconds in a proof-of-concept project for electric vehicle manufacturing: a 2-robot cell that was welding car doors for a vehicle line.

PREDICTION Generative artificial intelligence will achieve critical mass for robotics by 2028.

The robotics industry is experiencing a paradigm shift—moving from a focus on hardware to software, so there is immense opportunity for GenAI applications. While the robotics industry is historically slow-moving to adapt to new technologies due to its complexity, GenAI will be felt industry-wide within the next 5 years. When it does reach critical mass, applications for mobile robots could include more sophisticated navigation behaviors based on interactions with their environment. –Amir Bousani, Co-founder and CEO, RGo Robotics

> Geekplus RoboShuttle: The latest tote-to-person system from Geekplus supports the storage and picking of various sized items on racks, pallets, and totes within an adaptable layout. Going up to nearly 40 feet in height, its mobile AS/RS system can completely utilize a facility’s vertical space. Geekplus mobile robots are managed by a software platform that incorporates real-time path planning, tra c management, and task assignments.

January 2024 • Inbound Logistics 185

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