The development of science and technology has allowed us to demonstrate unprecedented capabilities in the face of this epidemic. We have seen the construction of Huoshenshan Hospital in 10 days, the application of drones and thermometers in epidemic prevention work, and even wheeled robots have begun to assist medical staff in the hospital.
The development of online shopping has led to an increase in the number of logistics centers, and thus the number of wheeled robots that handle many heavy tasks in the logistics centers. Recently, we are seeing more and more human-friendly robots in banks, shopping malls, hotels, and supermarkets. No one expected that the next challenge that these wheeled robots had to deal with, the delivery of the last mile, came so unexpectedly.
The picture comes from the screenshot of CCTV
Under the initiative of less gatherings, less travel, no or less going to crowded places, and taking bus, subway, train flights, etc., wearing masks throughout the process. The significance of the existence of wheeled robots is highlighted. This is not a difficult job. They will soon deliver medicines, documents, takeaways, etc. to offices or wards.
Example of a wheeled robot delivering pizza
Wheeled Robot Application Portfolio
With the advent of wheeled robots that some consider “robots in disguise,” let’s take a look at the entire portfolio of robots currently in use in the industry:
Industrial robots (or robotic arms) handle tasks such as welding, palletizing, sorting, and lifting in factories. They are usually in fixed locations on the floor, ceiling or wall. They are controlled by controllers placed near the base or robotic arm.
While large industrial robots such as robotic arms have been in use for many years – mainly in the automotive industry – with growing opportunities for human-robot collaboration, smaller variants called cobots (collaborative robots) are entering the market significantly .
Accurate Obstacle Sensing in Overcrowded Logistics Centers Using TI’s mmWave or Time-of-Flight (TOF) Sensing Technology
Logistics robots can be used in warehouses, distribution centers, ports and even campuses. These robots can pick up goods and deliver them to packing stations, or robots can transport goods from one building to another. These robots move in a specific environment and require many sensors to locate and map, as well as sensors to avoid collisions.
Reception robots can be used in supermarkets, airports and hotels. These robots serve as virtual workers to welcome and guide customers/guests.
Inventory robots can be used in supermarkets or warehouses, scanning shelves on a regular basis, ensuring the store never runs out of products.
Example of a reception bot
Industrial robots are often located in “closed” environments, and for safety reasons, if a human enters the environment, the robot’s operation is stopped. But limiting human/robot collaboration prevents many benefits from being realized. Robots with autonomous operation can support the safe and efficient coexistence of humans and robots.
TI offers a complete reference design for wheeled robots
Sensing and intellisense for robotics applications are important because the efficient performance of robotic systems, especially machine learning applications, depends heavily on the performance of the sensors that provide critical data to these systems. Today’s vast array of increasingly sophisticated and accurate sensors, combined with systems that can fuse data from all of these sensors together, can support robots with better and better perception and awareness. Examples of sensors include: cameras, lidar, mmWave, and time-of-flight (ToF).
Sensing technology is especially important in vacuum robot operation. ToF sensors enable the robot to accurately map the operating environment and ensure that the robot completes tasks efficiently. Infrared cliff sensors prevent the robot from falling down stairs, or preventing steep descents.
Just as humans rely on senses and intelligence to accomplish tasks, a lot of technology is needed in robotics to simulate what humans take for granted. TI provides solutions that address many of these technology needs, including sensing, intelligence and power. Innovative simulation and embedded technologies help engineers develop smarter, more advanced robotic systems of the future. Click here to view the TI Industrial Robot Reference Design.