Ford is using a 'Wall-E' lookalike self-driving robot that can avoid obstacles

Ford is using a 'Wall-E' lookalike self-driving robot that can avoid obstacles
Ford is using a 'Wall-E' lookalike self-driving robot that can avoid obstacles to ferry parts around its factory in SpainA self-driving robot is being trialled in a Ford manufacturing plant in Spain that can overcome obstructions and carry cargo.



The robot, similar in appearance to the Wall-E trash-crushing robot from Pixar, has been nicknamed 'Survival' and was developed by Ford's own engineers.

It uses Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology to visualise its surroundings and guides itself autonomously.
Ford is using a 'Wall-E' lookalike self-driving robot that can avoid obstacles
Survival's body includes an automated shelf with 17 drawers of different sizes that holds various materials and tools.

Its makers say that the robot is designed to work alongside human employees and not replace them.

Its main purpose will be for time-consuming and mundane roles which could save up to 40 employee hours each day. 

The robot, which looks like a chest of draws on wheels, has numbered slots that open and close automatically.

This means that it can be programmed so that each operator only has access to a particular slot and the materials assigned to them. Nicknamed 'Survival' because of its ability to adapt to its environment, the smart robot delivers spare parts around the plants, dodging unforeseen objects, changing its route if obstructed.

Mr Magarner added: 'When it first started you could see employees thinking they were in some kind of sci-fi movie, stopping and staring as it went by.

'Now they just get on with their jobs knowing the robot is smart enough to work around them.'

'It's been on trial for almost a year now and has performed faultlessly to-date. It's become quite a valuable team member.

'Hopefully we can put it into full-time use shortly and expand into other Ford facilities.'

Survival is one of a number of smart robots employed in Ford's European facilities, including the 'Robutt' and co-bots in Cologne, Germany.



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