Driving Toward Interoperability for Warehouse Robots

There has been a steady proliferation in recent years of vendors making autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), as well as serious investment and some M&A activity. At the same time, demand has grown steadily for this type of automated solution in order fulfillment and other applications, especially given the boom in ecommerce and the difficulty of securing sufficient labor. But can different warehouse robots play nice in the same setting?

To that end, trade group MassRobotics has created an AMR Interoperability Working Group. In May, the group, which includes vendors, engineers and client companies, published a standard to guide robotic automation interoperability. This working document will allow different types of warehouse robots to share data such as status information and operational conventions or “rules of the road” in order to better coexist on a warehouse or factory floor. In this MCM Commerce Chat podcast, we talk to Daniel Theobald, CEO and co-founder of Vecna Robotics and Tom Ryden, executive director of MassRobotics, to learn more about the standards initiative and its goals.