Self-driving robot makes life easier for Ford employees
Autonomous vehicles are still a few years away, but one little robot is already showing what’s possible.
Nicknamed “Survival”, because of its ability to adapt to its environment, the self‐driving robot delivers spare parts around one of Ford’s Valencia (in Spain) manufacturing plants, dodging unforeseen objects, changing its route if obstructed and stopping whenever necessary.
Developed entirely by Ford engineers, it is the first of its kind to be used in any of the company’s European facilities and frees up to 40-employee hours daily, allowing workers to undertake more complex tasks.
The robot is equipped with an automated shelf that has 17 slots to hold materials of different weights and sizes. To avoid errors, the opening and closing of these slots is automated, meaning operators in each area only have access to the materials assigned to them.