December 2023 Mobile Robot Q&A with Victor Splittgerber

In a recent LinkedIn Q&A session, Victor Splittgerber, Founder and CEO of WAKU Robotics, and a prominent figure in the field of mobile robotics, provided a deep dive into the complexities and advancements in the field of mobile robotics. He addressed various aspects of mobile robotics, from technological trends to implementation strategies. Below is a distilled summary of the key insights and advice he shared:

Choosing Between AGV and AMR in Warehousing

Victor Splittgerber emphasized the need for a tailored approach when selecting between Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR). He suggested consulting services to determine the best fit based on a company’s specific requirements.

Educational Pathways in AMR Operation

Discussing the development of educational programs for AMR operators, Splittgerber referenced the progress made by Deutscher Robotik Verband in introducing a robot driver’s license and anticipated similar advancements for AMR training.

Identifying Common Mistakes in AGV/AMR Implementation

He pointed out that unclear objectives and a lack of gradual implementation strategies are common pitfalls in AGV/AMR projects. Splittgerber stressed the importance of understanding the processes involved for effective project planning.

The Rise of Autonomous Forklifts

Autonomous forklifts were identified as a key growth area in the field of mobile robotics. Splittgerber predicted a significant increase in their adoption in the coming years.

Essentials for a Successful Mobile Robot Strategy

He highlighted the necessity of having a clear understanding of the desired automation process, the flow of goods and information, and well-defined success metrics for a mobile robot strategy to be effective.

Challenges and Opportunities with Robotic Arms and AMRs in Manufacturing

Splittgerber discussed the integration of robotic arms with AMRs, mentioning the technical possibilities and challenges, and cited emerging products and innovations in this domain.

Natural Language Usage in Robot Instruction

He noted the early stages of applications like Pick GPT from Sereact, which allow for natural language instruction of robots, suggesting more widespread adoption in the future.

Future Trends in Mobile Robotics

Looking ahead, Splittgerber forecasted significant growth in warehousing automation and the introduction of humanoid robots, which are expected to stimulate interest and investment in mobile robotics.

Future-proofing Automation Investments

For long-term viability, he advised including interoperability capabilities in automation investments, emphasizing the importance of standards like VDA5050 or MassInterop in purchase agreements.

Shift Towards Leasing Models in AMR Acquisition

Splittgerber observed a trend towards leasing models, such as Robot as a Service (RaaS), in the acquisition of AMRs, predicting a shift from traditional capital expenditure models as the industry matures.

Conclusion

Victor Splittgerber’s session offered a comprehensive overview of the current state and future prospects in mobile robotics. His insights are invaluable for businesses and individuals navigating the evolving landscape of mobile robotic technologies and applications.

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