Guidance Automation (www.guidanceautomation.com) of Leicester, England, has recently completed the development of a new autonomous guided vehicle anticipated to improve efficiency and cut costs in warehouses across the globe. The BriNgBot was developed using a Critical Link System on Module (SOM), which enabled Guidance Automation to reduce development costs and time to market. The company plans to introduce the product at multiple exhibitions this summer.
BriNgBot was designed to be a low-price point option that performs as well as or better than more expensive competitors, while omitting vehicle bulk that drives up cost. Industries involved in warehousing and internet sales will appreciate having this cost-effective auto-picking option that promises to overhaul warehouse productivity. The vehicle receives messages via Wi-Fi and uses an advanced camera system to read bar codes on warehouse floors, allowing it to accurately navigate to and retrieve items completely on its own.
“Our goal was to produce a low-cost vehicle, a less expensive but highly effective product with dramatically improved capability and performance compared to currently available alternative systems,” explained Tina Shaw, Guidance Automation’s Director of Marketing. “We most certainly achieved that and are looking forward to sharing the outcome with the world. Critical Link played an important role in our success.”
In developing BriNgBot, Guidance Automation selected Critical Link’s MityDSP-L138F, initiating their design with an off-the-shelf development kit that allowed the team to work on crucial project phases earlier than they would otherwise be able.
“We had a number of products in development over the last two years,” said Simon Edwards, Embedded Hardware and Software Engineer. “We wanted to ensure the module had capabilities for all the products we were working on. Critical Link’s SOM had everything we were looking for in an easy development environment. Because of that, we were up and running very quickly.”
The OMAP-L138 family of SOMs gives system designers the flexibility to address a wide range of requirements. They include the most advanced technology from Texas Instruments’ OMAP family of single and multi-core processors tightly integrated with the new Spartan-6 FPGA from Xilinx. All of the modules in this family are pin-for-pin compatible and available either with or without the on-board FPGA. This allows developers tremendous control throughout a product’s life and is useful for teams developing product families that need various levels of processing abilities.
“Using a Critical Link SOM saved us time, but it also allowed us to think about our own added value,” explained Dr. David Barnett, Chief Technical Officer at Guidance Automation. “We could save our engineering talent for the bits we are really good at and let the module take care of the electrical engineering.”
That engineering talent is apparent when watching BriNgBot in action. “Guidance Automation managed to develop a product for which any company with a warehouse will be grateful,” remarked Tom Catalino, Critical Link Vice President. “This vehicle performs the necessary communication, reading, navigation, and operating functions at a cutting-edge level. BriNgBot is a great value and a smart choice.”
Guidance Automation insiders say BriNgBot could be available for order as early as the summer, thanks in part to MityDSP-L138F and Critical Link’s exceptional customer service. Interested parties can also visit Guidance Automation’s website at www.guidanceautomation.com.
For complete details on Critical Link’s OMAP-L138 family of SOMs, visit http://www.criticallink.com/product/l138family/.
About Critical Link
Syracuse, N.Y.-based Critical Link (www.criticallink.com) is an embedded systems engineering firm, offering a broad range of highly customizable, small form factor SOMs and development kits for highly integrated, embedded systems for medical, scientific, and industrial applications. Critical Link’s end-to-end product engineering offerings include design, development, and production services. Critical Link is a Platinum Member of the Texas Instruments Design Network. Critical Link is ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001 Registered by SRI Quality System Registrar.