As the technology for autonomous vehicles and mobile robots continues to advance, it can benefit warehouses, factories, and distribution centers. Seegrid Corp. yesterday announced the release of Series 8 of its Palion Tow Tractor, which includes its updated Smart Path guidance system.
Over the past year, the Pittsburgh-based company has been adding artificial intelligence capabilities to its Palion Pallet Truck and Palion Lift autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). Seegrid said its commitment to innovation and safety help it stand out in an increasingly competitive AMR market.
Jeff Christensen, vice president of product at Seegrid, answered the following questions from Robotics 24/7:
What does Seegrid mean by saying that the Palion Tow Tractor has “enhanced understanding”—what can the Series 8 do that its predecessors couldn't?
Christensen: Palion Tow Tractor Series 8 is an upgraded version of Seegrid’s automated tow tractor, which features enhanced Smart Path technology. This technology increases the robotic fleet’s ability to comprehend and make decisions while safely and reliably moving material in dynamic, high-traffic facilities.
The enhanced Smart Path technology combines state-of-the-art sensors—3D lidar and forktip sensors, among others— that we fuse with our computer vision system to give Palion AMRs an understanding of their path. It includes overlapping fields of view to detect objects both in the front of the tow tractor and on both sides of it, providing Palion Tow Tractor Series 8 with a 360° view of its immediate surroundings.
Palion Tow Tractor Series 8 also shares the same chassis as the Palion Pallet Truck Series 8, providing a lower mast height than previous models - 60 in. versus 78 in.— enabling additional customer workflows, particularly in areas with low height clearance.
Seegrid has an enviable safety record, with no incidents in 5 million miles —why did you decide to improve the Smart Path algorithm, and how long did it take?
Christensen: Seegrid has been committed to innovation and safety since its founding. Our computer vision technology, sensor fusion algorithms, and data exhaust capture have been continuously refined for more than a decade. Our Smart Path algorithm builds on Seegrid’s proven track record of delivering mobile automation technology that boosts both productivity and safety.
As part of those efforts, Seegrid recently launched Blue Labs, an internal R&D group, to build on the company’s spirit of innovation and continue delivering the most advanced, reliable, and holistic AMR solutions to help our customers safely increase productivity and remain competitive.
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