Canadian robotics manufacturer releases new warehouse robot with GE Ventures as strategic investor and GE as first customer.
September 24, 2015
by PLANT Staff
KITCHENER, Ont. — Clearpath Robotics has unveiled its first self-driving warehouse robot: OTTO, which has been designed for intelligent heavy-load transport in industrial environments to improve throughput and decrease operating costs.
Modern factories and warehouses need to be reconfigurable, responsive, and efficient to survive. Designed to address these conditions, OTTO uses the same underlying self-driving technology popularized by the Google self-driving car to deliver efficient transport in increasingly congested industrial operations.
The robot doesn’t rely on external infrastructure for navigation so implementation is hassle-free and highly scalable. It transports 3,300 lbs loads at speeds up to 4.5 mph, while tracking along optimal paths and safely avoiding collisions.
“North American manufacturers are constantly under pressure to find new ways to gain an edge against low-cost offshore competition. Traditional automation is saturating. But what about the more complex tasks too difficult or expensive to automate?” said Matt Rendall, CEO and Co-Founder of Clearpath Robotics. “We created OTTO to reinvent material transport and give North American manufacturers a new edge.”
Applications include moving pallets in a warehouse or cross-dock, and for kitting or assembly line delivery.
Clearpath, a Kitchener, Ont.-based manufacturer of self-driving vehicles and robots for industry, currently has OTTO units deployed in five test facilities, the first of which belonging to GE.
GE has collaborated with Clearpath on service robot development since 2013 and recently became one of Clearpath’s first OTTO customers. GE Ventures has also become a strategic investor in the company.
“We believe robotics will drastically improve the industries that GE serves,” said Ralph Taylor-Smith, managing director of GE Ventures. “This Clearpath investment from GE reflects a deepening of the industrial partnership in advanced manufacturing and field service operations with self-driving vehicles and service robots.”
Check out the video below to see OTTO in action.