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Warehouse Productivity Rides on Autonomous Mobile Robotic Carts

Carrie Konopacki
Jun 3, 2020

The warehouse robotics market is projected to be valued at $6 billion by 2022.1 That’s a large number, to be sure, but not wholly unexpected given the types of robots tailored to warehouse functionality, including (but not limited to):

  • Articulated Robots with multiple jointed “arms” that aid in lifting and moving warehouse items
  • Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) and Goods-to-Person Technology that simplify order fulfillment, returns, and inventory management
  • Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Automated Guided Carts (AGCs) that “drive” along infrastructures of tracks or magnetic strips to transport inventory and materials from one warehouse location to another
  • Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) that perform functions similar to AGVs and AGCs, but do so without aid of infrastructure. Instead, AMRs are equipped with sophisticated networks of cameras, sensors, and computerized mapping to allow for routing flexibility

All warehouse robots impact productivity, and optimizing warehouse floor efficiency is typically a driving force behind incorporating robotics on the floor. As such, AGCs and AMRs are particularly popular because motorized utility carts are extremely versatile tools throughout a range of industries. However, while AGCs and AMRs perform similar warehouse functions, the difference between the two is literally decades of technology.

All Robotic Carts Aren’t Created Equal

AGVs and AMRs are similar technologies, but the differences between the two can make a significant difference to their usefulness - and as a result your ROI.

AGCs (and their larger AGV counterparts) have been around since the 1950s, and their navigation systems show it. What was once cutting-edge automation is now limiting and expensive to install, maintain, and/or modify. 

On the other hand, since AMRs are not dependent on predefined physical paths, they hold some decided cost advantages over AGCs. So much so, in fact, that technology experts predict the automated equipment segment will decrease by as much as 50% by 2030 in deference to autonomous mobile robots.2

However, the savings in infrastructure and implementation can easily be offset by the initial cost of an AMR. Some autonomous robotic carts equipped with all kinds of “bells and whistles” cost upwards of $50,000. It isn’t a matter of if an investment in the latest technological wonder will bring about warehouse performance and productivity improvements. It likely will. The real question is if spending that kind of ROI-crippling cash is actually necessary to achieve the same results.

Lower Cost, Higher Warehouse Performance

MūL Technologies offers the affordable alternative to pricier AMRs. Our Mobile Autonomous Robotic Cart (MARC) is powerful yet uncomplicated. It gets the job done at about one-fifth of the cost of the over-designed competition, but MARC isn’t stingy on features:

  • Wi-Fi-Free Mode™ eliminates the need for infrastructure changes, including adding Wi-Fi access
  • EZ-Go Navigation™ panel sends MARC between pre-programmed stations with the push of a single button — full set-up and use in under 5 minutes!
  • Intuitive control activates MARC by simply moving the cart to a point and holding a button down for 5 seconds
  • Laser-guided navigation is combined with sophisticated cameras and proximity sensors and highly visible, color-coded LED lights, making MARC safe
  • Long-life battery is easy to swap — anyone can replace it quickly

 

AMRs continue to be the preferred solution for warehouse efficiency and productivity. Take it to the next level with MARC — the affordable, functional, and ready-to-go robotic cart! Contact the MūL Technologies team for more information and a risk-free trial.

MARC mobile autonomous robotic cart

SOURCES
1 6 River Systems, Guide to warehouse robots: types of warehouse robots, uses & more, May 26, 2020
2 IDTechEx, Mobile Robots, Autonomous Vehicles, and Drones in Logistics, Warehousing, and Delivery 2020-2040, Undated

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