Self-driving forklift takes the human factor out of warehouse work

Robots and autonomous vehicles are taking over a growing number of domains, and jobs in warehouses are no exception to that rule. That is where self-driving industrial vehicle company Seegrid’s new GP8 Series 6 forklift enters the picture. The GP8 Series 6 is capable of autonomously maneuvering around warehouses, picking up heavy loads, taking them where they need to go, and then unloading them — and all without any human sweat needing to be expended.

“Our autonomous vehicles specialize in helping human workers haul extremely heavy loads of materials around the facility floor, making the whole system more efficient,” Jeff Christensen, vice president of product at Seegrid, told Digital Trends. “The new GP8 Series 6 adds one more layer of automation because it’s capable of executing hands-free load exchange from pickup to drop-off. That means the robot can approach a pallet, lift it up quickly and carefully, and drive off to the next point. This end-to-end automation solution optimizes warehouse operations by removing the need for human assistance to complete certain tasks.”

seegrid gp8 series 6 forklift hrseegridhbc 81

Compared to the automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that have been used in similar facilities for years, Seegrid’s self-driving forklifts don’t require any changes to a facility’s infrastructure in order to be used. Each vehicle operates using 10 cameras and image-recognition algorithms, instead of the wires, lasers, magnets, or tape commonly used by AGVs. This is also different from autonomous cars, which employ sensors like radar or lidar in order to move around. Christensen notes that the stereoscopic cameras the forklift uses have higher data density and offer a 360-degree view, compared to these rival sensor technologies. Another reason they do not require radar or lidar is because the lighting levels in a warehouse are more easily controllable than the natural light in the outside world.

Although the GP8 Series 6 is still in the pre-order phase, Seegrid autonomous vehicles are already being widely used in the industry. They have cumulatively driven more than 725,000 production miles for customers including General Motors, Amazon, Whirlpool, Jaguar Land Rover and many other manufacturing and distribution companies — all without a single accident.

The hope is that the company’s new autonomous forklift will not do anything to sully that sterling safety reputation. Until Skynet’s ready to make its move, at least!

Cars

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Cars

Ford teams up with Walmart to study consumer response to autonomous delivery

Last week it was Ford and VW, and this week Ford and Walmart are signaling a desire to work together on autonomous vehicles solutions. Ford and the giant retailer will study consumer reactions to self-driving delivery vehicles.
Cars

Car parts maker ZF is using drones to deliver components to its factories

ZF recently became the first entity in Germany to receive approval to use drones to deliver spare parts, and the company now uses them to deliver parts from its central warehouses to its workshops.
Cars

Study suggests autonomous cars could become red-light districts on wheels

Fully autonomous cars can change the way we commute, but they can also have a far-reaching impact on the tourism industry. Two researchers published a study that outlines how self-driving technology could create a new dimension in tourism.
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX makes rocketry look easy, sticks yet another Falcon 9 landing

SpaceX is due to perform its latest Falcon 9 rocket launch and landing on November 15 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Here's how you can watch the proceedings live.
Emerging Tech

In a weighty decision, scientists prepare to redefine the kilogram

Metrologists are meeting at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles to vote on whether to redefine the kilogram as a constant that can be observed in the natural world.
Photography

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Emerging Tech

Google’s balloon internet is coming to Kenya in 2019

In order to bring the internet to those who lack it, a company called Loon is launching balloons into the stratosphere. From more than 12 miles up, these balloons beam connectivity over a large area on the ground.
Emerging Tech

Hikers missing on Mount Fuji could soon find a drone buzzing above their heads

Hikers who go missing while climbing Japan's highest mountain could soon find a drone buzzing above their head. A new system using the flying machines has been set up on Mount Fuji for future search-and-rescue missions.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk receives FCC approval to launch over 7,500 satellites into space

Not surprisingly, SpaceX is thinking big with Starlink, its space-based global broadband network. This week, the company received FCC approval to launch 7,518 satellites into a low-Earth orbit for its satellite internet service.
Cars

The world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels are so intricate they look fake

HRE Performance Wheels and GE Additive have teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheels. They are not only impressively durable, but extremely lightweight as well.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.