Retail Is the Prime Testing Ground for the Next Wave of Mobile Robotics

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4Q 2019 | IN-5617


Where We Are


With the conclusion of the Mobile Robot Summit in Denmark, it is an excellent time to take stock of the most dynamic part of the automation industry: the popularization of autonomous vehicles, mainly for material handling within the supply chain, has bypassed the experimental stage and is being implemented on an increasingly grand scale. Dramatic improvements in accuracy and efficiency in sensor fusion solutions, alongside advancements in Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), have made autonomous mobility readily available for the vast majority of form factors.

While much attention has been focused on the promise of self-driving cars, the enormous venture funding allocated to their engineering teams has, if anything, not lived up to the timeline envisioned. Nevertheless, the self-driving car hype is a slow burner, with large automakers and technology companies making long-term bets in the hopes that autonomous driving will open up new opportunities in last-mile delivery, Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), and other opportunities. From a robotics standpoint, mobile autonomy is stil…

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