Gideon Brothers’ first commercial robot breaks tech barriers

December 15, 2018

The only European mobile autonomous robot using camera-based visual perception for navigation

 

Features:

  • Equipped with Advanced Visual Perception underpinned by deep learning
  • Fully autonomous and mobile (AMR)
  • Hot-swappable battery minimizes downtime
  • Does not require special “marker” infrastructure (e.g., magnetic tape or beacons)
  • Designed for long-term operation with standard pallets
  • Communication over WiFi
  • Requires very little physical infrastructure, just pallet frames and a charging station

 

The Croatian robotics and AI firm, Gideon Brothers, unveiled its first commercial robot, a heavy-duty self-driving indoor vehicle that uses camera-based visual perception to navigate rather than LiDAR. The combination of hardware and software is able to detect machinery and indoor structures that LiDAR, alone, misses (such as the forks of an empty forklift in their safety-regulated lowermost position). Gideon Brothers is the only European developer of robots that rely on visual perception for navigation and one of only three developers in the world.

The machine is designed to transport heavy payloads – up to 800 kg (1,764 lbs) – on standard pallets in dynamic manufacturing and logistics environments without the use of guidance mechanisms. Its 360 degree sensor array combines with deep learning to allow for a significantly wider range of use cases, especially in unstructured environments, as well as the potential for numerous high-level and client-specific applications. Built to the highest safety standards, advanced sensors and software allow it to be aware of its surroundings and safely navigate indoor, unstructured and human-populated environments.

No charging downtime nor infrastructure investments

Another distinctive value-added feature is its hot-swappable battery system, allowing batteries to be exchanged in operation so that downtime is brought to a minimum. The battery life in standard operation is up to 10 hours.

The robot requires very little physical infrastructure: just the pallet frames, that allow the robot to pick up and drop off pallet loads, and a charging station for batteries. No modification of facilities is necessary. As the robot is fully autonomous, no special “marker” infrastructure, such as magnetic tape or beacons, is needed.

Adaptable and scalable

The system is highly flexible and adaptable to any organization, and is easily scalable from just one or two robots, requiring no integration with warehouse management software, to an entire fleet automating a substantial part of operations.

The robot has LiDAR “bumpers” – as per safety regulations – and includes critical “Stop” buttons on either side, as well as sound and light indicators.

“The European robotics revolution is starting here, in Croatia. This is the Europe's first self-driving autonomous mobile robot based on visual perception. It is one of the few machines globally that is extremely adaptive to the human environment it operates in. When you are deploying one of our robots into your operations, it needs to understand the facility in detail and to be able to collaborate with human beings. It needs to understand the difference between humans and the objects it is going to be facing. It is the very advanced, human-like perception that is allowing these robots to enter the human environment, to collaborate freely with humans, to break out of their cages and to become more flexible, more productive and more helpful to the human operators.”
Matija Kopić, CEO and co-Founder of Gideon Brothers
“We’re not just building robots, we’re building solutions for businesses. More than that, we’re building a project that is going to change industries, that is going to change Croatia, Europe and the world. Up until recently, we wouldn’t even tell people what we were building, just that we were building robots. However, our employees saw the passion, they saw the opportunity to use their knowledge and their talents in Croatia, to develop something great here which everybody abroad wants to buy. So, for us, it’s much bigger then these robots. It’s much bigger than the logistics and manufacturing industry. It’s about changing our perception of ourselves and the world seeing the great talent that we harbor and how we make out project come true.”
Milan Račić, Chief Growth Officer

The prototype of Gideon Bros’ first commercial robot will be rolled out in pilot projects at three leading Croatian multinationals: Atlantic Grupa, Orbico and Tokić. The three companies that will take part in the pilot roll-out have a combined revenue of over €3 billion and operate in more than 30 countries. Atlantic Grupa is one of the largest food companies in the region, Orbico is the largest CEE distributor of leading international brands, and Tokić is the largest automotive spare parts retailer and franchiser in the region.

 

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