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How MOV.AI and ifm helped Hikrobot introduce a cutting-edge pallet mover

About MOV.AI 

MOV.ai disrupts Autonomous Mobile Robot development with a Robotics Engine Platform that contains everything needed to quickly build, deploy and operate intelligent robots.

Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are quickly transforming the logistics and manufacturing industries. These intelligent robots need to navigate highly dynamic environments, identify loads, and transport materials – all while maintaining the safety of people, equipment, and goods.

Developing and deploying such advanced AMRs can be a complex and time-consuming process. Some of the biggest challenges include the development and integration of software algorithms and the integration of new components with advanced capabilities.

The challenge – HIK Robotics’ high-performance pallet mover

HIK Robotics planned on introducing a next-generation high-precision pallet mover. HIKs robots are characterized by high precision and enhanced safety in highly dynamic environments.

Image of Hikrobot F4-1000C pallet mover

To realize these capabilities HIK robots installed the MOV.AI Robotics Engine Platform™ due to its low code software development tools, advanced autonomy algorithms such as 3D SLAM navigation, pallet detection and pose estimation, obstacle detection, and avoidance. The software platform also streamlines AMR deployment with deployment and installation tools and offers advanced fleet management.

To realize its high-precision vision, HIK selected the O3X Camera by ifm, which has been specifically designed to meet the demands of the mobile robotics industry. The camera is based on the pmd Time-of-Flight (ToF) technology. The 224 x 172 pixel imager, together with the quad-core iMx.6 processor, provides an onboard calculated, highly stable and extremely robust point cloud. The camera can identify objects within a range of up to three meters with repeatable precision, even in challenging environments. The 3D image data is output via the integrated Ethernet interface. A Windows SDK, a Linux Lib, and active support for the ROS robot operating system on GitHub help with rapid integration. The camera is housed in an industrial-grade enclosure not much larger than a matchbox that meets IP50 protection.

Rapid sensor integration using MOV.AI Flow ROS-based IDE

Using the MOV.AI Flow visual ROS IDE and open APIs, the IFM drivers were quickly uploaded into the Robotics Engine Platform in a matter of days and integrated with the robot software functionality in a matter of weeks.
Furthermore, the ifm drivers are now available in the IDE. Information acquired by the ifm cameras can be easily used by HIK in developing customer-specific customizations for future functionality development.

Open and rapid development drive fast time to value

Thanks to the speed of the integration between ifm sensor solutions and MOV.AI algorithms, and the visual software development tools provided by MOV.AI HIK Robotics was able to complete the development of its AMR in three months. The result is fast time to value not just for the robot manufacturer, but also for its customers who benefit from highly effective AMRs that operate seamlessly and continuously in highly automated warehouse environments.

Scaling the opportunity

Once integrated into the MOV.AI robotics Engine Platform™ The ifm drivers are now available off the shelf to any robot running the MOV.AI ROS-based software platform. AMR manufacturers and integrators can drag and drop the drivers using simple drag-and-drop implementation to allow their algorithms to work with information acquired by ifm cameras and can be used immediately in any robot solutions.

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