Seegrid and Applied Intuition Partner to Create Simulations to Accelerate Autonomous Material Handling Solutions for Seegrid Palion AMRs

The leader in autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) leverages Applied’s simulation tools to develop next-generation material handling automation solutions.
December 15, 2021

Applied Intuition and the autonomous mobile robot (AMR) provider, Seegrid, announced an agreement to collaborate on enhancing 3D virtual warehouses, factories, and distribution centers in support of accelerating advancements in autonomous technology for the material handling industry. 

Figure 1: Lidar simulation of Seegrid Palion AMR. 

Founded in 2003, Seegrid is the leader in autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for material handling. The world’s largest manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics companies rely on Seegrid Palion™ AMRs to autonomously move billions of pounds of material each month in real production facilities. Seegrid was recently named #1 for all mobile robots in the United States and #1 in market share worldwide for automated tow tractors. The company launched several new robot models in 2021 including the company’s newest AMR, Palion Lift, the only autonomous lift truck in the market with industry-leading 3D perception.

Applied Intuition offers purpose-built simulation and software tools for autonomy teams worldwide. Equipped with a deep feature set such as intelligent actor behaviors and pass/fail success metrics, Applied Intuition’s software tools offer prescriptive workflows, require minimal machine and infrastructure setup to initiate simulation jobs, and enable large-scale simulation testing in the cloud. 

“Consumer demand and a shrinking labor force are putting pressure on nearly every industry, and in turn, putting pressure on AMRs to effectively and consistently interpret and respond to ever-changing situations,” said Jim Rock, Seegrid’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our customers rely on Seegrid to deliver industry leading automation solutions that can safely ensure productivity. Highly advanced simulation during ideation, test, and development speeds up our ability to deliver next generation AMRs best equipped to address the unpredictable events in facility workflows.”

Development Use Cases

Seegrid builds multiple autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) including Palion Lift, Palion Pallet Truck, and Palion Tow Tractor. Seegrid will leverage Applied’s testing tools, Simian, Spectral, Orbis, and Meridian, to test its AMR products in virtual environments. Applied’s testing software platform will enable Seegrid to quickly validate product innovations in more environments and use cases across the supply chain than feasible with manual testing. 

The two companies are focusing on the following development use cases. 

  • Sensor placement: Spectral will help Seegrid test the virtual placement, evaluation, and iteration of various sensor layouts on future Palion AMRs. Spectral’s simulated sensors are accurately modeled in collaboration with the sensor providers, and have been refined with physical evaluation of real world sensor data to cover any unexpected anomalies.
  • Multi-robot autonomy validation: Applied’s software tools provide critical validation testing and workflows for Palion AMRs. The tools allow Seegrid engineers to create scenarios and turn them into test cases with pass/fail evaluation criteria, and run scenario tests with tens or even hundreds of robots. Other simulation tools in the market tend to focus on sensor data generation for experimentation and model training while they fall short on production-grade validation testing and workflows.
  • Articulated robot control: Palion AMRs must safely interact with objects in highly dynamic environments they operate in. For example, they must correctly detect pallets and lift, haul, or place them onto various surfaces. Applied’s simulation platform allows Seegrid to accurately simulate robot articulation and manipulation as part of the company’s extensive testing process (Figure 2). 
Figure 2: Simulating kinematic articulation.

“Applied Intuition’s platform simulates a wide range of environments, layering in different conditions to safely pressure test next generation ideas in autonomous vehicle technology,” said Peter Ludwig, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Applied Intuition. “Manufacturing and distribution facilities are a complex, highly dynamic operational design domain. We’re thrilled to collaborate with industry leader Seegrid to help enable the rapid acceleration of the growing AMR market.”

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