Driverless, vision-guided industrial vehicle specialist VisionNav Robotics has announced that it is bringing its range of fully automated, vision-guided forklift trucks and intelligent operating systems to the European market.
The VisionNav range includes driverless counterbalanced forklift trucks, reach trucks, stackers and tow tractors and, in keeping with the company’s global marketing strategy, VisionNav Robotics is looking to appoint distribution partners throughout Europe.
Nestle, DHL and Walmart are among the high profile businesses to have already adopted the VisionNav driverless truck system, while countless small and medium sized forklift users are also benefiting from the solution.
In simple terms the ‘vision-based’ navigation technology at the heart of VisionNav’s operator-free forklifts uses a vehicle-mounted camera to sense the environment in which the vehicle is operating. Information concerning the structural design and storage system lay-out of the facility where trucks are deployed is stored as off-line maps which the visual navigation system matches with real time images received from the camera to navigate the forklifts efficiently and safely around the store. With multiple vehicles controlled by the system, the trucks are directed to their next location via the shortest, fastest and safest route for optimum throughput performance.
Visual navigation technology is not only highly efficient, it is quick and easy to install and brings a rapid return on investment. The highly flexible technology allows driverless industrial trucks to be adopted with minimal disruption to a site’s existing intralogistics process and, typically, ROI is achieved after a period of 18-24 months.
Capable of operating outside and inside in even the most dimly lit buildings, VisionNav driverless forklifts undertake every type of task that would be expected of a traditional manually operated forklift – including vehicle loading and unloading, pallet put-away and retrieval in both standard and very narrow aisle racking configurations, as well as pallet and stillage movements throughout the warehouse.
In addition to the obvious savings in labour costs that driverless forklifts bring, other benefits delivered by VisionNav automated lift trucks include: reduced damage to goods, racking and trucks; greater picking accuracy; and more efficient use of the available storage space.
Established in 2016, VisionNav Robotics is among the fastest-growing operator-free industrial vehicle manufacturers in the world. Between the beginning of 2019 and 2021 the company’s turnover increased ten-fold while from 2020-21 order volume grew by more than 300 per cent year-on-year. During the same period, VisionNav’s typical contract value increased by 150 per cent with new business from existing clients accounting for nearly half of the company’s order intake.