Fives updates mobile robot sorter GENI-Ant
Sorting technology group Fives has unveiled an updated version of its GENI-Ant autonomous mobile robot (AMR) for small parcel sortation to increase flexibility and efficiency.
The GENI-Ant, which was showcased for the first time at Parcel + Post EXPO in Amsterdam in 2019, is designed to help CEP operators sort non-compatible or irregularly shaped parcels automatically.
In 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic had a major impact on consumption patterns. The demand for home deliveries reached new record levels and the small parcel volumes increased up to unprecedented peaks, the company explained.
As a result, distribution centers have been receiving more and more shipments consisting of irregularly sized or poorly packed items that are difficult to handle automatically, such as polybags, padded envelopes and other odd-shaped packages, most of them containing just one small item.
In this context, Fives’ teams worked hard to develop further the GENI-Ant design by integrating specific innovations and improvements.
The new GENI-Ant AMR incorporates two independent sorting units, each of which can be equipped with different types of belt, depending on the product to be handled.
Beside the flat belt conveyor, Fives included a new belt model specially designed for unstable, fragile items and products with uneven surfaces: this innovative belt features edges and gauges that prevent objects from moving or rolling, offering total control on the item during transportation and sortation.
Different available heights have been added: the robot can be from 800 mm up to 1.3 m high to allow discharging into containers and chutes or onto horizontal conveyor belts, depending on the application. The fleet runs throughout the operational area at different speeds on the straight and in curves, from 1.5 m/s up to 2.5 m/s.
Differently from the AGVs that are guided by cables, magnetic strips or sensors installed inside the warehouse, every GENI-Ant robot can move completely autonomously in a dynamic environment. Using Wi-Fi communication, the system software manages their navigation, defines where each of them should speed up or slow down and calculates the most efficient travel path, according to the position of the vehicle, the nearest loading area, and the assigned destination.
And above all, the company underlined, AMRs never stop due to the automatic battery recharging system ensuring continuous operation, with no need to arrange a dedicated charging station.
Fabio Sacchi, New Application Director at Fives Intralogistics SpA, said: “Our AMRs are built to be deployed quickly, thanks to standardized vehicles, proven software modules and seamless integration. The system occupies a very low footprint and is therefore the optimal solution for many applications in both large-sized hubs and small distribution centers, such as post terminals, express courier depots and 3PL warehouses.”