News Releases 2019Meiden starts selling RocoMo-V, an unmanned transport vehicle equipped with a collaborative robot

Meidensha Corporation (Meiden) has completed the development of RocoMo-V, an unmanned transport vehicle mounted with a small, collaborative robot*1 made by Funac Corporation, and has started putting the product on the market.

It is urgent task to improve the rate of robots operating at manufacturing plants that produce a wide range of products each in a small quantity, with conventional industrial robots being immobile and affixed in a certain location. Moreover, Japan is confronted with a major labor shortage due to the declining working population. To address these problems, Meiden has developed this product equipped with a collaborative robot that has been used for automating production processes. Using this product that is capable of moving around the plant will help automate manual and skilled work and make plant operations more efficient, thereby saving considerably on manpower.

The robot model CR-14iA/L is capable of handling a load up to 14 kg. The unmanned vehicle can operate omnidirectionally and is compact, with a width of 704 millimeters, allowing it to travel in narrow pathways. The vehicle can be used with systems that autonomously guide its path. These guidance systems include laser equipment*2, which Meiden has sold in large numbers, and SLAM*3, which allows the vehicle to estimate its position and travel without assistance. Moreover, it is possible for the vehicle to switch guidance systems while it is running. These features make it unnecessary to install a fixed apparatus, such as magnetic tape, on the floor to guide it, making it easier to change the layout of factory equipment.

The robot and the device's control system have standard specifications so that they can be handled in the same way as conventional, immobile robots. Electricity is supplied to the robot from an automatically rechargeable battery installed inside the vehicle. The vehicle and robot can thus operate around the clock.

Meiden will continue to develop unmanned transport vehicles and associated systems to alleviate the manpower shortage in the manufacturing and service sectors while at the same time meeting the demand to save on labor power.

*1 Collaborative robot: Capable of operating in the same area alongside human workers without the need to install a safety barrier.
*2 Laser guidance: A method to guide the vehicle by estimating its position through the calculation of the time it takes the laser to reflect back to itself after hitting reflectors on the wall and elsewhere.
*3 SLAM: Acronym for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping.





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