Omron New Mobile Robot Targets Medium Payload Range

OMRON Corporation launched the MD-650 autonomous mobile robot (AMR) in Japan on Aug. 31. Specifically, the new medium-payload (650kg) mobile robot was designed to provide greater efficiency at production sites. Mainly, the addition of the new AMR expands OMRON’s lineup of autonomous robots to appeal to a wider variety of part and material transport applications.

MD-650 mobile robot

In recent years, manufacturing sites have become increasingly important in the pursuit of productivity and quality. Also, they play a key role in creating workplaces that reduce the burden on workers. Moreover, there are increasing demands to improve efficiency in part- and material-transport operations. They repeatedly carry heavy materials, work-in-process products, and finished products through automation to reduce the heavy physical burden on the workers. In the automotive industry, for example, the development of a high-mix, low-volume production system has led to the dispersal of materials to multiple locations. Moreover, the increased frequency of inter-process transfer of small lots of work-in-process has increased the physical burden on workers.

However, even if the optimal robot for each process is selected, controlling a large fleet of mobile robots requires different management systems for each robot model and each process. This requires investment in each system and management to ensure smooth transportation of a wide variety of heavy objects.

OMRON’s existing lineup of mobile robots ranges from 60 to 1500kg. Specifically, MD-650 provides a mid-weight range option (650kg). Its unique control technology enables safe and smooth transport. As a result, implementation becomes easy at production sites where people and machines work in the same area.

Additionally, the unique OMRON Fleet Manager software enables integrated control of up to 100 mobile robots on a single system. This eliminates the need for multiple fleet management systems. Also, it automatically selects the optimal mobile robot for each process based on payload and availability.

Omron plans to add a medium payload range of up to 900kg during this fiscal year to further strengthen the product lineup.

Product Features

1. High speed and safety with top-level transfer speed*2 in the medium payload range*1 and unique obstacle avoidance algorithm.

MD-650 has proven experience, based on the implementation of several thousand units at manufacturing sites around the world. The new system operates smoothly even in narrow aisles. This results from its maximum speed of 2.2m/sec, advanced navigation functions, and obstacle avoidance algorithms. In addition, the introduction of advanced battery and charging technology enables 8 hours of operation on a 30-minute charge.

2. Integrated control of all mobile robots using proprietary software technology

A single system offers integrated transfer routes for up to 100 mobile robots with different payloads. Also, it controls the transfer sequence in real time. The advanced linkage within a single system enables the real-time routing, even for inter-process transfers at different production speeds, to achieve efficient transfers with minimal retention.

3. High level of safety in accordance with international standard ISO3691-4*3.

It is designed for compliance with ISO 3691-4 (enacted in 2020), the latest safety standard for driverless industrial trucks and their systems. Omron will continue to expand its existing product lineup to contribute to the creation of safe factory environments.

Generally, OMRON will continue to develop safe and high-quality mobile robots to help reduce the burden of material transport processes across various industries. Further developments to the company’s proprietary software control will promote safe and optimized transport paths at sites across industries. OMRON will continue to develop automation solutions that maximize the value of people and creates a prosperous future for people, industry, and the earth.

*1 Mobile robot with payload range model from 500 to 900kg

*2 As of June 2023, according to internal research.

*3 International safety standard applicable to Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV), Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR), and other unmanned vehicles and systems. It defines requirements for safety functions and methods of validation of automatic vehicle functions, and compliance with these requirements is required to meet the standard.