KITCHENER, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–OTTO Motors, a leading provider of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), is leading the charge in interoperability as one of the first AMR vendors to support the VDA5050 standard and to open source its connector. Interoperability, particularly compliance with standards like VDA5050, will play a crucial role in facilitating the adoption of automation by manufacturers worldwide. As the industrial automation industry evolves, OTTO Motors is dedicated to supporting and enhancing interoperability to unlock new possibilities for autonomous material handling.
“Managing and testing fleets of autonomous robots requires two computers—one in the robot and one in the cloud—to dispatch tasks and communicate the status of these tasks to and from the robots”
VDA5050 is an interoperability standard created to establish a common interface among multiple automated guided vehicle (AGV) and AMR providers. It outlines specific requirements and guidelines related to safety, performance and communication for AGV and AMR systems. The VDA5050 standard provides many benefits to manufacturers looking to introduce automation, including reduced costs and downtime as well as improved safety and flexibility. However, these benefits cannot be fully realized until all AGV and AMR vendors ensure their robots are VDA5050 compliant, as OTTO Motors has already accomplished.
Along with InOrbit and Ekumen, OTTO Motors has made even further strides toward interoperability by being the first vendor to make our VDA5050 connector open source. This commitment to interoperability enables any ROS-based AMR to be controlled by a VDA5050 Central Control—including our competitors’ systems if they adopt the standard—which ensures quick compatibility and accelerates global support for the standard. Our open source code can be accessed on GitHub.
“Supporting VDA5050 is a significant milestone for OTTO Motors,” said Jay Judkowitz, Vice President of Product at OTTO Motors. “By adhering to this standard, we’re empowering global manufacturers with more sophisticated and cohesive automation solutions to tackle their toughest operational hurdles. As the automation landscape evolves, it’s vital for all AGV and AMR vendors to follow suit.”
OTTO Motors has taken steps to address the challenges of implementing the standard by conducting rigorous tests to verify the functionality of VDA5050 support in our AMRs. These tests have shown that VDA5050 compatibility can enable seamless communication and integration between AMRs and third-party controllers. One of these tests was conducted by industry leader NVIDIA, which confirmed in simulation that its Mission Dispatch software worked seamlessly out of the box with the OTTO Motors VDA5050 connector.
“Managing and testing fleets of autonomous robots requires two computers—one in the robot and one in the cloud—to dispatch tasks and communicate the status of these tasks to and from the robots,” said Gerard Andrews, Product Marketing Manager for Robotics at NVIDIA. “As part of the NVIDIA Isaac robotics platform, we built Mission Dispatch and Mission Client on VDA5050 to facilitate interoperability for users handling heterogeneous robotics fleets, and OTTO Motors embracing VDA5050 will help to further advance interoperability.”
In October 2022, OTTO Motors’ commitment to VDA5050 compatibility was further demonstrated with InOrbit, a leading robotics operations platform. In this demonstration, OTTO 100 and an AGV were seamlessly controlled by InOrbit’s master control, unlocking new levels of flexibility for material handling operations. In the video, InOrbit’s master control was able to directly issue an order to OTTO 100, and when it detected that the two robots were positioned too closely together, disrupting traffic flow, the master control paused the AMR and allowed the less capable AGV to proceed.
“InOrbit and OTTO Motors are aligned in our commitment to accelerating the adoption of robotics through effective robot orchestration,” said Florian Pestoni, CEO and Co-Founder at InOrbit. “We believe that the ability to manage material handling across multiple vendors is critical for the industry to thrive. Our collaboration with OTTO Motors is a crucial step towards achieving this goal. We are excited about the impact this will have on the industry and look forward to continuing our partnership.”
OTTO Motors’ spring 2023 software release has enabled OTTO AMRs to execute a variety of tasks under a VDA5050-compliant central controller:
- Navigate to a specified point: OTTO AMRs can be commanded to navigate to a simple coordinate, a predefined Waypoint, a configured Docking Endpoint or a configured Charger.
- Pause and resume motions: The VDA5050 standard allows for a simple pause and resume command to be sent to any robot within its control. This is helpful when considering and designing intersections.
- Powered endpoints: Once an OTTO AMR arrives at a Docking Endpoint, it can be commanded to transfer its payload with either an OTTO standard Conveyor or Lift.
- Work In place: OTTO AMRs will not accept any other commands until the Work In Place has been ended, which ensures a safer and more predictable interaction between humans and robots where a manual load or unload is required.
To learn more about the VDA5050 standard, including its importance for manufactures and the considerations for adoption, visit https://ottomotors.com/vda5050.
About OTTO Motors
OTTO Motors provides autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for material handling inside manufacturing facilities and warehouses. With over four million hours of driving experience, OTTO is trusted for mission-critical deliveries in the most demanding of industrial environments. The leading AMR provider was recently recognized as a top 10 global robotics provider, named to Fast Company’s 2023 list of Most Innovative Companies. Seventy percent of OTTO’s customers are Fortune 500 companies and include some of the world’s most recognized brands, including GE and Toyota. For more information, visit ottomotors.com.