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Symbotic Innovation: SymBot Autonomous Mobile Robot

The Symbotic system includes hundreds of autonomous robots that must navigate with unprecedented speed and precision…traveling at up to twenty plus miles per hour and making quick turns to store and retrieve products within the structure. The newest generation SymBot is a huge leap forward in both technology and design.

The mobile bots leverage technologies inspired by the automotive industry to maneuver quickly and accurately on all kinds of surface conditions. This includes driving through a variety of spills from water to coffee grounds.

It’s exciting to work for a company that is truly transforming an industry. We imagine a solution beyond anything on the market today, and then figure out how to achieve it.

Fred Senior Director of Hardware Engineering, Symbotic

Wishbone suspension and power casters on the front of the bots allow for greater traction control and distributed torque across all four wheels, resulting in less than one degree of wheel-slip as it drives. These innovations allow SymBot to turn ten percent faster than the previous generation robot. Paired with a reduced friction driving surface, this greatly reduces maintenance and parts replacement intervals–extending wheel life by up to four-X.

Shaving seconds off the time it takes to turn, accelerate and stop also reduces the bots’ energy consumption by twenty percent. This made it possible to reduce the weight of the bot and size of its capacitor.

Another new innovation is the SymBot’s case handling capabilities. SymBot can now raise and lower the lifting mechanism while the bot is moving. This reduces the average time for a bot to pick and place by fifty percent, increasing the overall number of transactions the system can perform.

To enable the system to handle a wider variety of products, a set of actuators we added to allow the bots to pull products into the center of the payload bay.

The new case-handling features reduce the average time it takes each bot to execute a pick/place task by fifty percent. That’s a big increase in productivity in a Symbotic System that handles hundreds of thousands of cases per week.

Increasing the performance of each bot, significantly improves the overall efficiency and throughput of the system.

I've been working in AI for more than a decade and this is the most sophisticated fleet of mobile robots I've ever worked on. Their onboard vision, sensing and compute power is beyond anything on the market.

Ted Vice President Mobile Robotics, Symbotic