ABB launches AMR with vSLAM AI

  • March 25, 2024
  • William Payne

ABB Robotics has announced an autonomous mobile robot equipped with AI-based Visual SLAM navigation technology. The Flexley Tug T702 provides increased speed, accuracy and autonomy in navigation and logistics compared to conventional AMRs.

Visual SLAM (simultaneous localisation and mapping) is a technique allowing a robot to calculate its position and orientation using only camera inputs while simultaneously mapping its environment. It is more accurate than conventional telematics using RFID or GPS, which do provide precise location data and can be affected by external interference.

ABB has also launched new AMR Studio software, enabling first-time robot users to program and operate entire fleets of mobile robots with ease. The new capabilities simplify configuration and can reduce commissioning time by up to 20 percent. According to ABB, they pave the way for a workplace where intelligent robots can operate autonomously.

Combining AI and 3D vision, Visual SLAM technology enables AMRs to make intelligent decisions, differentiating between fixed and mobile objects in dynamic environments. Using Visual SLAM, the robots can create a map that is used to operate independently, reducing commissioning time from weeks to days and enabling fully autonomous operation in highly complex, dynamic environments alongside people. Maps are constantly updated and shared across the fleet, offering instant scalability without interrupting operations and greater flexibility compared to other navigation technologies.

The new capabilities offered by Visual SLAM are supported by the launch of ABB’s AMR Studio software. AMR Studio enables inexperienced users to create and configure AMR routes and jobs, with no programming knowledge needed.  AMR Studio is designed to streamline the process of setting up an entire AMR fleet from start to finish, guiding users through the necessary steps, from environment mapping to mission generation and system configuration.

Once the fleet is up and running, AMR Studio Fleet Manager software puts users in full control of what is happening on the shop floor. Intelligent order assignment uses algorithms to ensure that orders are distributed efficiently, while real-time visualisation and data monitoring provides full traceability.

ABB will continue to expand its AMR portfolio with Visual SLAM navigation technology and AMR Studio.

The latest announcement follows the acquisition of Swiss start-up Sevensense in January as ABB continues to expand its portfolio to meet the growing market for mobile robots, which is expected to expand at a rate of 20 percent CAGR through 2026, from $5.5bn to $9.5bn.