Home Bots & Business Big Joe Adds Automation Capabilities to AMR

Big Joe Adds Automation Capabilities to AMR

by Pieter Werner

Big Joe Forklifts, in partnership with Thoro.ai, has added new features on their flagship AMR and invest in key staff to help deliver automation for their customers. This week at Pack Expo visitors can see the latest Big Joe Pallet Mover AMR first-hand, including several new features such as dynamic on-the-fly rerouting, onboard viewable maps and configurable zone rules to further enhance productivity, ease of operation and control for users.

With the introduction of the Pallet Mover’s dynamic rerouting capability the unit can now autonomously navigate to a destination on an alternative path should an aisle or area of travel become blocked, improving productivity and reliable completion of user-directed tasks. With visual maps of an operating area now included on the Pallet Mover’s user interface, operators can now easily validate that they are sending the AMR to an intended location as a visual reference.

Lastly but perhaps one of the most powerful updates on the Pallet Mover to be introduced at Pack Expo, is a host of configurable zone rules which users can employ within areas of operation. These zone rules instruct the Pallet Mover as to how a user wants it to behave in a specific location. Slower travel speed areas, continuous horn use areas, prohibited areas and areas intended for automated side-by-side pallet unload are but a few examples of the increased control provided with the new zone rules feature.

In addition to advancements in its AMR, Big Joe is announcing that it has hired the Director of Strategic Partnerships for its Autonomous Division, Brendan Brett. Brett will be leveraging Big Joe’s core strengths of developing affordable, reliable, easy to use and deploy autonomous vehicles to foster additional collaborations within or aligned with the material handling industry. Brett’s vision is to evolve the company’s strategic autonomous roadmap ahead of market trends to sustain Big Joe’s competitive advantage throughout both its distribution and service network and those of partners.

Brett studied Supply Chain Management and Information Systems at Penn State and has 15 years of Supply Chain Operations experience specifically in the food and beverage industry. He was globally recognized by Nestle’s High Performance Logistics Team for projects such as setting up a configurable WMS fully integrated with AGV-MS, semi-automated Pallet Mole® systems and YMS software.

The Big Joe Pallet Mover autonomously travels to a destination and delivers pallets to preset locations. When the zone drop feature is used, the Pallet Mover will take a load to a predefined area in a facility having multiple pallet delivery locations and will place a pallet in the first open spot based on sequential order – even if they are not in one continuous row or adjacent to one another.

The Big Joe Pallet Mover features LiDAR, an intuitive user interface and a camera system to transport and drop pallets to locations autonomously once the operator initiates it and selects a mission. This collaborative approach uses self-driving technology as a productivity force multiplier by allowing workers to focus on higher-value tasks or direct multiple independent workflows concurrently. Current pricing for the Pallet Mover is set at $65,000 plus tax and freight per unit inclusive of deployment, initial training and a robust three-year autonomous software and support subscription.

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