In autonomous robotics, the area of materials handling is often overshadowed by the pizzazz of self-driving cars. But a rapid shift toward automation in e-commerce distribution centers and manufacturing plants has led to a thriving subset of robotic logistics focused on supply chains and automated material movement.
There are a bevy of players in the space ranging from small startups to Toyota. One medium-sized player is Pittsburgh-based Seegrid, founded by roboticist and Carnegie Mellon University professor Hans Moravec. The company makes a range of vision-guided vehicles for indoor materials handling, such as pallet jacks, forklifts, tuggers and other factory and warehouse vehicles.