What are Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR)?

As sectors such as Agriculture, Healthcare and Manufacturing are under rising pressure to increase their efficiency and delivery, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) have become a fix-all solution for many.

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Like their name suggests, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are types of robots that navigate and function within an environment independently.

Astech’s next generation Robotic Lab Assistant is available in an AMR configuration, and is designed to create adaptable, versatile laboratory workspaces. However, AMRs can be used across multiple industries and have diverse applications.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the ins and outs of what makes an Autonomous Mobile Robot, their uses, and how they work.

How do AMRs work?

Unlike other autonomous robots that rely on tracks or predefined paths, AMRs use sensors, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and path planning.

This means AMRs like our Robotic Lab Assistant can not only move independently but also use navigation techniques such as collision avoidance to slow or stop, with other AMRs on the market even having the ability to reroute around fallen objects or groups of people. Their depth perception and spatial awareness increases safety as well as optimising a human workforce’s efficiency.

Uses of AMRs

Examples of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) can be found in many differing environments:

  • Warehouses - typically, AMRs are used in warehouses for applications such as picking and placing, palletising and material handling.
  • Healthcare - healthcare organisations rely on AMRs for assisting with critical tasks like disinfection, telepresence, and delivery of medication and medical supplies while freeing staff to spend more time with patients.
  • Agriculture - to keep up with population growth, AMRs are used in Agriculture to overcome significant labour shortages, boost productivity, and improve yields.
  • Hospitality - In Hospitality sectors, AMRs are used for everything from customer service to inventory automation, room service, luggage assistance, and wayfinding.
  • Public sector - AMRs are being used increasingly in the Public sector to improve residential services, such as waste removal or public transportation, as well as for safety and security, search and rescue missions, and space exploration.

Benefits of AMRs

Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) come with a host of benefits for workplaces across many different sectors.

1) Improving safety

  • AMRs are used to clean and disinfect areas for improved health and safety
  • They can safely transport contagious laboratory specimens in hospitals
  • Heavy loads can be carried in industrial environments
  • AMRs can replace human workforces in extreme/dangerous conditions where humans cannot and should not be working

2) Increased flexibility

  • Simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) solutions and mapping technologies enable AMRs to understand and adjust to changes in their environment
  • They require less programming than other robotic solutions. For example, once an RLAs workspace has been mapped and a workflow created, they can work independently, decreasing reliance on the human workforce

3) Improved efficiency/productivity

  • AMRs are quick to install and can be easily modified
  • They improve consistency and accuracy by removing human error
  • AMRs reduce and optimise staffing costs as they eliminate the need for a large human workforce
  • AMRs offer 24/7 working with minimal time needed for recharging/reprogramming

Learn more about AMRs

If you require more information about what Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) could do for your business, please get in touch with the Astech team or explore the capabilities of our Robotic Lab Assistant. We’re always happy to help.

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