The core of the 4th industrial revolution is robots and mobility. While the commercialization of AI robots and self-driving mobility is wide spreading, autonomous driving tech is loaded in many logistics robots. Logistics robots are robots that sort and transport goods and are used in many industries, such as warehouses, airports, ports, and factories.
According to the report of World Robotics-Service Robot 2020, logistics robots have the largest 43% share of the total robot market. Logistics robots recorded sales of 75,000 units in 2019 and are expected to be 259,000 units in 2023. In this atmosphere, Drive Tech (CEO Choi Yun-yong) is attracting attention with its third-generation autonomous logistics robot platform and its commercialization.
Manned and unmanned vehicle, autonomous logistics robot FAEV, loading weight of 1 ton, traction force of more than 5 tons
Drive Tech is specializing in core driving parts and driving systems for logistics robots. The company has developed a manned and unmanned transport vehicle with a loading weight of 300kg to 1ton and a traction force of more than 5 tons, an autonomous delivery robot FAEV, and a control and monitoring system for effective and systematic operation. FEVE is an eco-friendly robot that operates with 100% electricity, and can be used immediately in industrial fields thanks to autonomous driving technology both indoors and outdoors. CEO Choi said, “FEVE is an autonomous vehicle that enables humans and robots to cooperate to prevent safety accidents, reduce operating costs, and create an effective work system.”
Logistics robots are based on Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV). AGV has a fixed route, and people are not allowed to work in that route. Therefore, AGV takes up large space and lacks flexibility in operation. AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot) was developed to compensate for the disadvantages of AGV, but AMR can mainly transport only small amounts of goods and cannot go outdoors. FEVE, on the other hand, has a huge loading weight of 300kg to 1ton and a pulling force of more than 5tons in total for more than 5 units. It is a self-contained logistics robot that can be moved by itself to a shipping yard or an outdoor warehouse when a person loads goods on top of the vehicle.
The first self-driving logistics robot equipped with a picking robot
All in one control and monitoring, delivery without blind spots, and crime prevention patrol
FEVE can also be equipped with a picking function. Cobots are not fixed, but a single cobot can be used by moving from place to place. In the era of ‘the multi-product but small-volume production’, there is a market demand for collaborative robots to be attached to vehicles. Accordingly, Drive Tech has developed a vehicle equipped with a collaborative robot that secures power supply and safety. FEVE applied interlocking control technology between vehicles and collaborative robots, and this technology was registered as a patent. FEVE, equipped with a picking function, can pick items between conveyor belts, load items on its own, and load items on other vehicles.
This robot can work unmanned 24 hours a day, can do limited work even at night, and can work remotely.
All work contents and movements of FEVE can be observed and managed by the manager’s mobile phone, and if the camera is installed, the entire work site can be grasped while watching the movement. At night, it can go around blind spots and perform on-site patrol function. CEO Choi said, “FEVE is a robot capable of logistics delivery and crime prevention patrol. It is possible to perform logistics work while monitoring and patrolling the process status 24 hours a day.”
Creating a map and setting a route according to the situation of the desired task
Transporting small and heavy loads, 100% electric drive, low energy consumption
FEVE is a lidar-based self-driving robot. Therefore, there is no need for equipment or processes that customers need to prepare separately like AGV. After driving the work area once, it can create a map by itself and set a route according to the work the customer wants. It can continue to cycle through the route you set, and can create shortcuts to move to other routes.
It can move by avoiding unexpected situations, and it can move by setting up a patrol routine at night. It can move small and heavy objects, is 100% powered by electricity, and uses less energy. For this reason, inquiries about the product is pouring in.
Add autonomous driving module to electric vehicle
Building a human-robot collaboration platform and large-area smart transportation infrastructure
Drive Tech is a 6-year-old technology venture. Experts in ‘e-drive system’ are focusing on optimizing, standardizing, and developing advanced technologies for transportation autonomous driving mobility. Since 2019, the company has signed MOUs with about 20 companies to carry out various projects, and vehicle-related researchers have completed everything from design to development of FEVE. Based on this, the company is continuing to research ways to integrate with the smart factories of its clients.
Foreign companies are also very interested in FEVE. The company introduced FEVE at the ‘Korea-Japan Future Mobility Partnering Program’ last December and received explosive attention from domestic and foreign companies.
CEO Choi said, “Industry officials are showing a lot of interest in the modular structure that can add self-driving modules to existing electric vehicles. Using the FEVE platform, existing vehicles can be modified to provide self-driving vehicle services or build smart transportation infrastructure in large complexes. In addition, it can be actively applied to various industrial sites by establishing an indoor and outdoor manned and unmanned electric vehicle robot platform that realizes collaborative transportation work with humans. I expect that interest in FEVE will grow even more in the future.”
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