AGVs (automated guided vehicles) traditionally are used for indoor tasks such as intralogistics and material handling, but could the emergence of AMRs (autonomous mobile robots) be the next great thing outdoors?
IDTechEx says yes, we will see a rise in delivery vans, sidewalk robots, and drones, forecasting AMRs will increase 250-fold in annual revenue from autonomous delivery vans alone, soaring from 2023 to 2044.
Here is how this can help:
- Ground-based vehicles can deliver food and groceries.
- Drones can soar high in urgent healthcare deliveries.
- Sidewalk robots can do last-mile delivery on a college campus, as one example.
Looking to the future, there are huge opportunities. The analyst firm points to many companies and cities doing pilot projects, which will drive this rapid growth, but of course there are always challenges. Case in point: Are these robots both safe and efficient?
Take, for instance, Amazon’s drone tests. On June 21, 2023, during a pivotal test at the Pendleton site, an Amazon drone made an emergency landing in a field and was destroyed. It is also reported that the drones ignored operators’ instructions in another test, raising critical questions about their reliability. As we move forward, we must ask: Is the technology ready to interact with the public?