This is the first blog post in our series on “Industrial AMRs Inside-Out”, Each post of the series will talk about one or more components that go into making an AMR.

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If you are working on Industrial robots, then you would have definitely heard about PLCs. And if like me, you are from pure robotics background, then you might have wondered, how is PLC related to robotics? why do we even need it? I have never used PLC before to make a (non-industrial) robot, then why now?

Here I will try to answer a few of those questions.

  1. What is…

What is common between a Waymo/Uber Self Driving car and the latest iPhone. The LiDAR! And that is what we hope to delve deeper into over the next few paragraphs.

LiDAR is an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging. Put simply, it is a sensor that estimates the distance to an object by shooting a ray of light and measuring the time taken by the reflected ray to return to the point of origin. You can find more details about the history and the technology behind LiDARs here. LiDARs come in various form factors.

Humanity is preparing to welcome robots into their lives, whole, and sole. We all know how robots have changed the way warehouses function or the way we till and harvest our farms. In this article, I would like to draw your attention to a few purpose-built bots that we found rather interesting.

Julia, by Nymble

Nymble is an Indian start-up that intends to take over kitchens across the world. Only slightly larger than a microwave, their product Julia is a robot sous chef that cooks food for you. Isn’t that amazing? Once you select the recipe and load up the…

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If you are building an Autonomous Mobile Robot, it is quite likely that you will need a navigation system. Off the shelf, navigation comes in two flavors. More on that here. In this article, I am looking at another choice that needs to be made — build vs buy.

Navigation is a hard problem. Often, start-ups in robotics underestimate the effort involved in building a navigation system that is reliable and precise. Many start-ups try to tweak open-source software to meet their navigation needs. But these do not always cut it. Mowito has hours of navigation data from robots on…

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Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) need a navigation solution. Off-the-shelf navigation solutions come in two flavors:

a) Navigation in a box (or Box) — Box includes hardware — typically a compute board and an IMU — and software. The navigation software runs on the compute board inside the Box.

b) Software (only) navigation solutions — Software only navigation solutions run on the robot’s primary compute board. No hardware is bundled with software navigation solutions.

Myths about Navigation in a Box solution

1) Box comes with all the hardware related to navigation — As noted above, Box usually includes a compute board and an IMU. Wheel encoders, Motor drives…

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Ahold Delhaize, a Dutch retailer, announced many months back that it is bringing in 500 bots to roam the aisles of its stores. These bots have a single purpose — to alert the staff about those areas of the store that need mopping. Ahold Delhaize is also running a contest to find the best robots to scrub floors. Softbank backed Whizz claims to have sold 10,000 units of its commercial cleaning bots.

All these point to the burgeoning trend of hiring bots to keep floors clean. COVID-19 is accelerating this trend. People shying away from menial and repetitive jobs leaves…


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