A Henkel case study showcases Gideon Brothers

July 22, 2019

A case study of the digital transformation project underway at Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care Division showcases Gideon Brothers’ autonomous mobile robots and the company’s “unique vision-perception technology.“

The case study, published by Digital Bulletin Magazine, details efforts of the „truly large-scale transformation project“ undertaken by Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care Division. Dr. Dirk Holbach, Managing Director, Global Supply Chain, explains that one focus of this transformation is the high-potential of robotic systems. „Any elimination of a manual material movement,“ he notes, increases safety simply because these machines avoid „any kind of bad interaction with humans.“ The resulting higher efficiency and safety is “the driver for us to want to be free of material movements done and triggered by human beings,“ said  Dr. Holbach.

Gideon Brothers is hailed as „an increasingly important partner to Henkel in this arena.“

“These guys are using a unique vision-perception technology within their autonomy stack, which is not at all common in the market. It is an interesting combination of people who have the potential to disrupt a part of the industry and products and materials that work in an autonomous way in the operations environment. And as with companies of that size, they are very fast and agile when you’re asking to try it out and where can we do it, so that is a clear advantage,” concludes Dr. Holbach, noting that there are „clear advantages to linking up with startups.“

“Henkel has been incredibly supportive,” said Milan Račić, Chief Growth Officer and Co-Founder of Gideon Brothers.

“These smart larger companies use startups to leverage their own operations higher, to change their own corporate cultures. So it’s a win-win, a symbiotic relationship”, Milan Račić said.

Explaining the disruptiveness of Gideon Brothers’ technology in an interview with Digital Bulletin (see video above), Milan Račić noted that “there are thousands of robots out there in the industrial environment, but 99% of them run on invisible tracks.

“First of all, it’s expensive to set up the tracks. And they’re inflexible. If you want them to do something else the next day, you can’t do anything – you’re stuck. Second of all, what makes a difference is that we’re the only technology startup in Europe that uses vision as the focus of its autonomy; to drive the navigation and safety elements of that autonomy. So what we tell our customers is that the solution we offer is cheaper, safer, more flexible, and it’s more capable.”

Milan Račić goes on to explain the critical difference between LiDAR- and vision-based autonomy.

“LiDAR, at its core, is essentially dumb – or blind. It sees the world in a binary way. It either sees something, or it sees nothing; it sees an elephant, or it sees me, or it sees you, but it doesn’t know what it sees. Stereo vision is just like our eyes – it’s rich-data capable. And we all know data is the future, so we allow our customers to collect a lot of data, which they then can process to make their operations more efficient.”

 

 

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