Autonomous Mobile Robots: Ready for Construction, Mining

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Autonomous Mobile Robots: Ready for Construction, Mining

ABI Research released a study noting how “Autonomous Mobile Robots” (AMRs) are making their way into mines and construction sites.
Advanced mobility enabling autonomous navigation will empower robotics vendors in construction, extraction and elsewhere, ABI noted, citing the report that found that, while in 2018 just 28.7% of commercial robots’ shipments had some degree of autonomous navigation, in 2027 that percentage will be 79.3%.

These robots help to protect workers from a hazardous working environment, reduce workplace injuries, and address labor shortages,

said Rian Whitton, research analyst for ABI Research.
For the robots to operate in challenging, hostile, and unsafe environments without human assistance, the key beneficiaries will be OEMs who choose to adopt navigation-providing operation systems (OS) from third-party providers, according to ABI. Specialist robot companies have a greater opportunity to attract capital due to increased interest, and with the formulation of cloud services from AWS and Google, have more opportunity than ever to develop advanced capabilities like mobile manipulation and advanced analytics.
However, ABI notes, enterprises will struggle to get in-house solutions off the ground without partnering with third-party providers on localization and navigation technologies. These types of partnerships are crucial as the OEMs have the industry know-how and existing infrastructure that address site-specific requirements.

While the proliferation of startups dedicated to building robotic platforms for construction-related tasks is intriguing, the more developed opportunity is currently the interaction between OS providers and traditional OEMs, like Komatsu and Caterpillar, in automating heavy vehicles used in mining extraction,

added Whitton.

These may be OS providers like Braincorp and Autonomous Solutions Inc., who specialize in navigation, or technology providers like location enabler Humatics. However, as both industries continue to strive for cost efficiency and workplace safety, task-specific autonomous mobile robots hold the key to the future.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Robotics in Construction & Extraction application analysis report.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Komatsu

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