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

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.
Cars

Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.
Cars

The 8-seat, 3-row 2020 Telluride SUV is the biggest Kia ever

It's fitting that the 2020 Kia Telluride debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, as it was built specifically to meet U.S. buyers' insatiable demand for SUVs. Kia packed the eight-seat cabin with family-friendly tech as well.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Emerging Tech

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Look up at the night sky in 2020 and you might see an ad for McDonald's floating among the stars. A Russian startup is working on a project that uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to create glowing ads.
Emerging Tech

New brainwave reader tells teachers if students are concentrating

Massachusetts-based startup BrainCo has developed brainwave-reading headbands which can reportedly help reveal if students are concentrating in class. Here's how they're being used.
Emerging Tech

Fears about kids’ screen use may have been overblown, Oxford researchers find

Many people take it as gospel that digital technologies are harmful to young people’s mental health. But is this true? A recent study from the University of Oxford takes a closer look.