Mobile Robots Complete Pilot Project

5th October 2023

Logistics BusinessMobile Robots Complete Pilot Project

Oceaneering International, Inc. announces that its Oceaneering Mobile Robotics (OMR) business successfully completed a pilot project using its omnidirectional UniMover™ O 600 and UniMover™ D 100 underride robots at the ZEISS facility in Jena, Germany, in cooperation with Ingenics Consulting.

The pilot specially tested the mobile robot systems’ manoeuvrability, and obstacle avoidance features, as well as proved specific behaviours at the building’s fire doors. The project demonstrated OMR’s underride mobile robot capabilities and enabled Ingenics Consulting and ZEISS Group to assess their suitability for inclusion in the new, state-of-the-art facility currently under construction in Jena.

Installation, integration, and operation of the underride mobile robots occurred within a three-day period, during ongoing production at the current ZEISS Group facility in Jena. The trial seamlessly ran for one week alongside existing manual logistic processes.

ZEISS Group sought to gain preliminary experience with mobile robots in a dynamic environment that includes both automated transport and manual traffic. Responsible for developing the logistic processes in the new facility, Ingenics Consulting approached OMR on behalf of the ZEISS Group.

“In the planning of the new high-tech site in Jena, it was important for us to address the planned changes and use of innovation for ZEISS at an early stage and to involve the relevant partners,” said Benjamin Lehnort, Senior Project Engineer, Ingenics Consulting. “Through the ongoing communication with OMR in this pilot project, we were able to give the employees at ZEISS in Jena an impression of a mobile robotics system and, as a project team, gain valuable information for the further planning of the building and internal transport. Conducting the pilot in an operational area was particularly important to us in order to get as close as possible to the future environmental conditions.”

Lutz Lippmann, Project Manager, Carl Zeiss AG, said: “The project’s overarching objective was two-fold. We sought to introduce mobile robotics to our multiple business units and to test the underride robots in a dynamic environment with extensive manual transport, thereby assessing the optimal functionality of the mobile robot system. We are delighted that the pilot not only met but exceeded our expectations, with OMR successfully operating the mobile robots in our existing facility.”

Hendrik Hörisch, Branch Manager, Oceaneering Mobile Robotics GmbH, said: “We were able to show that our mobile robots for autonomous transport can be integrated into during an operational logistics process within a very short time without interrupting production or making structural changes to the building thanks to our infrastructure-free navigation technology. Furthermore, we were able to successfully give the employees of Carl Zeiss AG insight into the possibilities of mobile robotics and share an outlook on the potential logistical innovations at the ZEISS high-tech location in Jena.”

The planned new building in Jena serves as ZEISS’ founding location and the second-largest facility worldwide. ZEISS is constructing a building on 80,000 square meters where all development units, as well as a large part of the locally based production and administrative departments, will be located. The new location’s modernity and openness matches the high-tech and science-oriented city of Jena, due to the systems developed and manufactured there.

ZEISS Group’s new facility features state-of-the-art technology that will be used to transport dedicated material trolleys from the logistics area to the production areas on two levels. Integration of the OMR underride technology focuses on providing a flexible, reliable solution that improves efficiency in production and logistics.

OMR’s innovative underride mobile robots are equipped with infrastructure-free navigation based on BlueBotics’ Autonomous Navigation Technology (ANT). Within this one-week demonstration, ZEISS’ facility benefited from mobile robots equipped with the latest navigation technology backed by OMR’s 30+ years of experience in designing, manufacturing, and implementing autonomous mobile robotic solutions.