I am interested in seeing how the warehouse robotics landscape evolves. It is becoming clear to me that heterogenous environments will continue to be a reality, and likely expand along with robot adoption. SVT Robotics is one of the first names I heard in this niche. And finally this week I learned more.
During the Winter of 2020, I attended the Logistics and Warehousing Executive Briefing organized by MassRobotics. As I stated in the subsequent article, The Greater Boston Warehouse Robotics Cluster, robotics integration in the warehouse was the hot topic during the open discussion. A couple of attendees from Fortune 500 companies with substantial warehouse investment plans expressed the importance of integrating the robotics, automation, and IT landscapes within their organizations. This open discussion is where I learned of SVT Robotics, as a representative from the company communicated the firm’s approach to integration projects. Fast forward a year, and SVT Robotics sponsored a product demo session with Promat DX. This session displayed the visualization and logical flow of integration within the SVT Robotics SOFTBOT Platform. I found the recorded demo to be informative and hope to get a deeper briefing from SVT in the near future. Here is a link to the demo URL on the Promat page SVT Robotics Softbot Demo.
SOFTBOT Platform Demonstration
The demonstration walked the viewer through the process of integrating a WMS, autonomous mobile robots (AMR) from two robotics providers, and accompanying features. SVT breaks down its software, or SOFTBOTS, its three categories – connectors, features, and applications. Connectors are pre-built integrations to automation technologies. Features are specific functionality sets such as “picking.” And applications are unique combinations of features and connectors.
An SVT Labs WMS was chosen as the WMS (categorized as a feature), followed by a connector for Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR)and then another connector for Fetch Robotics. Subsequently, a couple features were selected – the Autonomous Mobile Robot Fleet Supervisor to control multiple robots in the solution and the Transport Mission Manager to orchestrate the transportation requests and conformations with user assistance devices. Finally, the connector to the Voodoo Robotics pick-to-light technology was selected.
After the SOFTBOTS were added to the workbench, the application was named and described, and the build out of the app continued. Starting with the WMS, each SOFTBOT was added to the canvas through a simple drag-and-drop process. Blue lines appeared on the graphic display to represent the integration specific to these SOFTBOTS as connected to each other and communicating. Subsequently the app was published. The environmental configuration to the database and server followed. It was then noted that it was a prerequisite to map the robots to the floor and their locations. This configuration was followed by a video of bots in a facility with a human working through an example of a robot mounted pick-to-light device communicating to the robots through the SOFTBOT Platform.
I do not find middleware or integration technologies to be terribly exciting. But this demonstration was well thought out and skillfully presented. I recommend further researching the product if you believe it can create value and streamline implementation and integration processes at your facilities.