MiR adds MiR1000 AMR, improves navigation skills with AI Camera

MiR1000 AMR

MiR1000 autonomous mobile robot at Automate 2019.

Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) launched at Automate the MiR1000, its largest autonomous mobile robot (AMR) to date. The MiR1000 can pick up, transport and deliver loads up to 1000 kg (2200 lbs). Prior to the MiR1000, the company introduced its MiR500 in 2018, which can carry loads up to 500 kg (1100 lbs).

The MiR1000, which is available for purchase today with first shipments being delivered in May 2019, is being demoed at Automate 2019 is booth 7368. The MiR1000 has two flexible pallet lifts for the two most commonly used types of pallets: the EU pallet and the 40” x 48” pallet.

The MiR1000, like the company’s other robots, can be programmed via the intuitive user interface or through the MiRFleet robot fleet management system. The AMRs can also integrate different top modules such as pallet lifts, conveyors, a robot arm or other options to support a range of applications.

“Our customers said they were looking to move much heavier loads in and around production lines,” Ed Mullen, VP of sales, North America, MiR told The Robot Report. “Our products couldn’t handle that, so that really drove our product development on the MiR1000.”

MiR upgrades AMR navigation skills

MiR’s AMRs use a combination of laser scanners, 3D cameras and proximity sensors to navigate an environment. But to improve its autonomous navigation capabilities, MiR is adding “AI capabilities” across all of its AMRs.

With the new AI features and new MiR AI Camera, which would be strategically placed throughout a customer’s environment, Mullen said MiR has improved the route planning and driving behavior of its AMRs. The cameras enable the robots to detect and recognize different moving obstacles and react accordingly.

For example, the robots will continue driving as usual if they detect a person but will park if they detect an AGV so the AGV can drive by. The robot can also predict blocked areas or highly trafficked areas in advance and reroute instead of entering the blocked area and then re-routing.

“This is the first AI component we’re offering,” Mullen said. “It’s another set of eyes that you can integrate into a facility that ties back into our fleet system. It can look and see the surroundings and help the robots predict what to do as it’s entering intersections or doorways.”

Mullen said the MiR AI Camera, which works with all of MiRs AMRs, is available only to MiR customers. It can be integrated into existing fleets or single-robot installations.

Mullen said the MiR1000 also includes new proximity sensors to detect low-lying objects, digital inputs and outputs, cleaner e-stop functionality, an a new lighting scheme to help humans understand what the MiR1000 will do next.

“It really shows the direction of the company,” said Mullen. “MiR is creating more intelligent hardware and software and more predictability.”