Rapyuta Robotics is successfully evaluating Sevensense Visual SLAM for autonomous forklifts

Date: 20 Jun 2023
Category: engineering, press release

The two companies are collaborating to build the next generation of autonomous forklifts based on Visual SLAM and cloud robotics.

Rapyuta Sevensense announcement header

The Swiss provider of Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) Sevensense and the Japanese robotics company Rapyuta Robotics have announced a technical development collaboration.
Rapyuta Robotics is known for its flexible and collaborative autonomous mobile robot and cloud robotics solutions.

Since the commercialization of its collaborative picking-assist robot, Rapyuta PA-AMR, the company has been dedicated to customer success and has established a strong track record in automating logistics operations.

Building upon this expertise, Rapyuta aims to provide precise products and services by leveraging their self-developed robotics platform, rapyuta.io, along with refined software technology for robot fleet control and domestically produced hardware.

In view of the high demand for automation of forklift operations trending in the Japanese market, Rapyuta is currently developing an autonomous forklift vehicle.

With the introduction of Rapyuta Autonomous Forklift to the market, the Japanese company aims to contribute to the advancement of digital transformation in logistics operations.

Rapyuta Autonomous Forklift

In this context, Rapyuta has been evaluating Sevensense Visual SLAM technology to solve autonomous navigation challenges in dynamic environments.

Sevensense’s innovative approach to Visual SLAM bridges the gap between manual and fully autonomous vehicles, particularly in complex scenarios, making it a game-changing solution for the material handling industry.

The Sevensense Visual SLAM proprietary hardware and software stack confers advanced performance features on autonomous robots. It provides robust, precise, and reliable navigation capabilities even in changing environments with repetitive spatial configurations -such as aisles and racks, typical in warehouse settings. In addition, it allows for operations along dynamic objects like other vehicles and robots or human coworkers.

For this project, Rapyuta started prototyping with the Alphasense Position Evaluation Kit. This kit offers a seamless combination of software and hardware elements, fusing the Alphasense multi-camera hardware, along with Sevensense’s proprietary Visual SLAM software and configuration tools.

The hardware consists of a compact device including 5 factory-calibrated cameras and a computing unit with pre-installed software. The system can be easily mounted on top of any vehicle and requires minimal connections such as power and Ethernet.

Thanks to a web-based interface, the user is guided through a simple step-by-step installation wizard to calibrate, set up the interfaces, and configure and evaluate the positioning performance on the target vehicle.

Through the utilization of this evaluation kit, Rapyuta significantly reduced the integration time required to implement a fully operational Visual SLAM positioning system on their autonomous forklift.

Gajan Mohanarajah, Co-founder and CEO of Rapyuta Robotics stated, “We have been looking for a technology capable of enabling our autonomous forklift vehicle to navigate complex environments with ease and efficiency. We have chosen the Sevensense solution in this project based on their expertise in Visual SLAM and their proven track record of successful implementations in autonomous vehicles.”

Gregory Hitz, CEO and Co-founder of Sevensense Robotics commented, “We are honored to work with Rapyuta on this exciting project. Our Visual SLAM technology is designed to provide highly accurate localization and mapping capabilities, which are critical for the reliable and flexible operation of autonomous vehicles. We are confident that our technology will enable Rapyuta Robotics to deliver high-performing autonomous forklift vehicles to their customers.”

The evaluation of Sevensense Visual SLAM technology by Rapyuta Robotics demonstrates its commitment to delivering cutting-edge supply chain and logistics solutions.

About Sevensense Robotics

Sevensense builds the eyes and brains for mobile robots whose vision and intelligence empower manufacturers of manually operated vehicles to become providers of smart robots and enter the automation revolution of the 21st century.

Sevensense solves complex automation challenges for its clients in the fields of logistics and service robotics. The Sevensense technology radically simplifies and accelerates their development efforts, as it can easily be installed on any kind of ground vehicle, transforming them into smart robots.

Sevensense envisions a world in which repetitive, dangerous, and unhygienic jobs in factories, warehouses, and public spaces will be carried out by robots equipped with their technology.

Sevensense is a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich.

The Sevensense technology has been internationally acclaimed: in the 2021 ABB Robotics Innovation Challenge and in the 2022 Swiss Technology Award.

About Rapyuta Robotics

Rapyuta Robotics is a leading provider of flexible and collaborative autonomous mobile robot (Rapyuta PA-AMR) solutions and the pioneer in cloud robotics. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Rapyuta Robotics is a Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) spin-off, that operates with a vision to be the leader in making robots more attainable and valuable by taking an open, platform-centric approach to developing and using robotics solutions. At ETH Zurich, Rapyuta Robotics’ founding members worked on the RoboEarth and Cubli projects.

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