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MODEX: How quickly things change

March 18, 2014

At previous MODEX events – trade shows exhibiting the latest manufacturing and supply chain equipment and technologies – Kiva had their own boothes. Big boothes with lots of people marveling at their orange robots. Today at MODEX, those orange robots were moving to a different drummer.

Amazon was marketing their full-service distribution service – and also doing some recruiting. Kiva was in the background playing a support role – which is what Amazon was marketing.

At day 1 of MODEX, one could see lots of joint ventures involving robotics:

  • Adept provides a mobile platform for Demantic’s AGVs
  • Yale provides a driverless lift for Seegrid’s new autonomous forklift
  • Seegrid provides the navigation and vision systems for Yale’s new autonomous forklift

Also shown were many products meant to ease ergonomic strain on human workers.

  • Caster and wheel companies were showing new technologies to reduce push and pull strain
  • Coiled vacuum lifts for lifting boxes onto tables or conveyors
  • Forklift companies were adding rollers on their forks to reduce torque needed to squeeze under a skid

PS: This may help explain why Google acquired Holomni, the creator of high-tech powered casters for omnidirectional motion … mobile consumer products in the future?

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series... read more


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