June 15, 2021

Mir250Hook 400x275Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) has launched the MiR250 Hook, a top module for the company’s MiR250 autonomous mobile robot (AMR). The MiR250 Hook can automatically collect and tow carts through dynamic and constricted industrial spaces, with loads up to 1,100 pounds (500 kg). MiR is now accepting pre-orders for the system, with shipments expected worldwide by the end of the month.

The MiR250 Hook can be purchased as a package with the MiR250 AMR, which was launched last year, or as a separate module to be installed on a company’s existing MiR250. Hook modules existed for the company’s MiR 100 and Mir200 models, but not for the more compact MiR250. The unit can travel safely and efficiently at speeds up to 4.5 mph (about 2 meters per second).

MiR said the goal of the Hook is to give autonomous capabilities to carts that cannot normally be utilized through the company’s other AMRs, due to height or design restrictions. “The MiR250 tunnels underneath a cart and pins to it, and that works for a lot of really good applications,” said Matt Charles, sales director for the Midwest U.S. and Canada at MiR. “But there were still quite a few customers that had hundreds or thousands of existing carts that they couldn’t modify or give us the space underneath, so the Hook is an option that we had for the MiR 100 and 200, and we adapted and improved it to add to the Mir250.”

Charles said modifying an existing card involves adding either a QR Code or AprilTag to an existing cart, in order for the AMR to identify it and either pick it up or drop it off. New robots would also either need to import a map of the building or manually map to a route, as well as integrate with an automatic charging station.

Having this tow capability opens up several different applications or processes for a deployment, such as the transport, removal, and replacement of bins that workers use for garbage during the course of a work shift. In addition, carts that supply workers with parts can be more autonomously delivered to workers instead of having people manually push or pull the carts. In a distribution center, the AMRs with the Hook attachment can be used to deliver orders from warehouse shelves to a packing station, keeping pickers in an area fulfilling orders instead of walking around the entire warehouse.

“At workplaces worldwide, humans move thousands of carts and transport cages manually between departments, a highly repetitive and time-consuming task,” said Søren E. Nielsen, president of MiR. “With the highly precise and powerful MiR250 Hook, towing carts and transport cages through dynamic and potentially constricted environments is now easier, more manageable and quite economical.”

More details can be found at the MiR website.