Improvements in perception are helping developers build robots for wider applications. Accerion yesterday announced the release of Triton, a new localization sensor for mobile robots that it said will provide customers high degrees of flexibility, speed, and precision.
Willem-Jan Lamers founded Venlo, Netherlands-based Unconstrained Robotics BV in 2015. Doing business as Accerion, the company has been perfecting localization technology for autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Accerion said its mission is to make AMRs 100% independent from infrastructure and operate with high precision in dynamic environments.
In May 2019, Accerion received an unspecified Series A round of funding from Phoenix Contact Innovation Ventures and LIOF, the Limburg Development & Investment Co., and doubled its staff to 20. The company has manufacturing and logistics clients in the U.S., Europe, China, and India and said it is expanding to other markets as they explore additional applications for localization sensors.
Accerion builds Triton to work without infrastructure
The ability to easily and accurately determine the location of mobile robots — independent from the environment — is essential, especially in warehouse and production automation, said Accerion. The company claimed that its infrastructure-free localization technology with sub-millimeter-level accuracy gives mobile robots the ability to work precisely in dynamic environments.
Consisting of an optical sensor, an integrated processing unit, and Accerion’s advanced algorithms, Triton scans the floor surface beneath robots and uses it as a reference. Triton uses the floor surface as a map to provide coordinates to the navigation system so robots can localize themselves in the environment, without lasers, magnetic tape, or induction lines.
“We pushed hard to get maximum performance out of the hardware,” stated Ruben Vandenheede, a system engineer at Accerion. “We used a superior camera, expanding the optics’ capabilities. Reliability improved dramatically after we put Triton through the ringer to make sure it’s beyond robust for industrial activities.”
The successful pilot programs included swarm robots supporting the postal industry, e-commerce, and integrated warehouse robots.
Triton ready for market
After months of field testing in pilot programs across the globe, Accerion said Triton is ready for demanding logistics operations, supporting use cases such as free navigation, high-precision docking, and virtual line following. One of the fastest-growing sectors globally, warehouse fulfillment is Triton’s first target market.
Accerion said it responded to market demands, and its engineers designed the sensors from the ground up based on client specifications. That meant packing the technology from flagship product Jupiter into a compact localization sensor for smaller AMRs.
“While developing Triton, we listened closely to the market and customers,” said Lamers. “Optimizing size, performance, cost, reliability, features and Triton’s certification set [CE, FCC, RoHS] was a technical challenge, but our engineering team is one of the most competent in our industry, and now Triton is ready to go global.”
After the successful pilot program, Triton is available now, and Accerion is shipping to clients across the globe.