ABB is entering into a strategic partnership with Swiss-based start-up Sevensense, founded in 2018 as a spin-off from ETH Zurich, to enhance ABB’s new Autonomous Mobile Robotics (AMR) offering with artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D vision mapping technology. The technology will offer customers unprecedented levels of flexibility as mobile robots will be able to navigate autonomously in complex, dynamic indoor and outdoor environments close to people
The partnership is another important step in ABB’s strategy to drive the next generation of flexible automation and expand ABB’s robotics and automation portfolio, following its acquisition of ASTI Mobile Robotics, a leading global AMR manufacturer, announced in July 2021. The partnership includes a minority investment in Sevensense through ABB’s venture capital unit, ABB Technology Ventures, which is expected to close by the end of November 2021.
The Sevensense navigation technology uses advanced computer vision and AI algorithms to create a 3D map that is more accurate than today’s 2D solutions, leading to superior navigation capabilities, and more cost-effective solutions than laser scanner-based navigation. An AMR equipped with 3D Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) technology will be able to accurately interpret its environment, identify a person, a pallet or another robot and autonomously make decisions to navigate around these obstacles. This level of intelligence will enable safer human-machine interactions and ensure material flows around factories and warehouses are safe and efficient for maximum flexibility and productivity.