The autonomous mobile robot (AMR) maker Otto Motors has taken on a new financial backer, announcing today that Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has made a “strategic investment” in Otto’s parent company, Clearpath Robotics.
Kitchener, Ontario-based Otto makes material handling robots ranging from its latest model, the midsized Otto 600 with a 1,322-pound (600 kg) payload to the heavy-duty Otto 1500, the light-class Otto 100, and the Otto Lifter autonomous forklift.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Otto said the investment expands the strategic relationship between Otto Motors and Mitsubishi Electric, and strengthens the two companies’ commercial collaboration.
More specifically, Mitsubishi Electric said in a statement that it aims to strengthen its support for complete factory optimization and automation by utilizing AMR systems. The company said that mobile robots are not only used for conveyance but through their connection to IT systems, such as factory and line simulation software, ERP, and MES, and they are becoming indispensable items for factory-wide optimization and complete automation.
Mitsubishi said the use of mobile robots is currently accelerating as a solution to address labor shortages, especially in the logistics and manufacturing industries. And in the longer run, the company envisions future smart factories that integrate manufacturing and logistics to realize mass customized production and full factory automation by maximizing the use of the integrated solutions.