Hyundai Mobis develops collaborative self-driving robots for smart factories
The self-driving logistic robots are low-floor robots that move freely between production lines and distribution warehouses to transport supplies or goods.
Hyundai Mobis has announced that it has completed the development of mobile collaborative robotic and logistics robotic systems based on autonomous driving, which have been implemented for pilot operation in its Ulsan plant in Korea.
These robots, which can be used at general manufacturing sites or in smart factories, feature a set of technologies that encourage safe interactions between robots and their human counterparts. The collaborative and logistics robots can be utilised in manufacturing or distribution bases as well as in service locations. Hyundai Mobis states that it "has also succeeded in developing an exclusive integrated controller and control system, which are required to provide the robotic solutions."
The mobile robots with articulated arms move autonomously in different environments, such as factories or offices, performing tasks in collaboration with the persons in charge. They are equipped with cameras and LiDAR sensors, allowing them to move in various directions, such as back and forth or sideways.
By far the most prominent feature of these robots is that they are able to offer mobile services. Unlike general industrial robots or wearable robots, mobile collaborative robots serve various purposes both at home and in commercial spaces. The vision cameras and moving arms of the robots allow them to perform interactive tasks with their human counterparts, such as arranging products on the shelf or delivering a cup of coffee brewed by a barista to a table.
Enhancing logistics operations
The self-driving logistic robots, also developed by Hyundai Mobis, are low-floor robots that move freely between production lines and distribution warehouses to transport supplies or goods. The 152mm-tall robots can carry up to 200kg with the ability to lift up to 12cm. Using the equipped LiDARs and camera and ultrasonic wave-enabled sensors, these robots are capable of identifying their own locations at the site and also of delivering materials via optimal paths that have been set to avoid workers and obstacles.
In addition, Hyundai Mobis secured a system that allows for integrated control of multiple self-driving logistics robots within one workplace. The key to this control system is preventing collisions and deadlocks between robots. Hyundai Mobis developed and applied a proprietary algorithm that predicts and controls in real time the movement of multiple robots.
Hyundai Mobis is also developing a robotics system that can be used outdoors. The system will incorporate the robo-wheel technology, which has been designed to help the robots move safely in outdoor environments, such as slopes and bumpy road surfaces. The built-in control algorithm of the robo-wheel will facilitate various driving motions, including a 360-degree zero turn and sideways crab driving.
Lee Seung-Hwan, the Head of the Advanced Engineering at Hyundai Mobis, said “We are brainstorming innovative and creative ideas to develop safe and precise robotics technologies. We hope to use these human-robot collaborative solutions to further expand the scope of our business.”
Hyundai Mobis plans to develop various robot platforms based on the elemental technologies of the mobile collaborative robots and self-driving logistics robots that are currently under development. The project will focus on advancing the human-robot interface, robot driving, and robot control technologies, which will be utilized in a variety of areas, such as smart factories, distribution bases, offices, and households.
In March this year, Hyundai Mobis added UAM and robotics to its business portfolio as part of its initiative to secure long-term growth engines, simultaneously announcing its goal to scale the business model to encompass next-generation growth areas.
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