This article is from the Robotics FAQ, by Kevin Dowling firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
There are a small number of companies targeting the research community
for the mobile robot market. Helpmate, RWI, and Cybermotion have all
sold and are selling mobile devices for research and real
applications. There are a number of Automatic Guided Vehicle companies
as well and their primary applications are factory operations.
Companies manufacturing Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV) are listed at
the end of this section. Robot lawn mowers too!
"Action Machinery Co." One Vulcan Drive
Helena, AL 35080, USA
Severe-duty hydraulic robots and manipulators. Payloads from 65kg -
7000kg. Primarily forge, foundry, and casting operations.
"Applied AI Systems"
Suite 500, Gateway Business Park
340 March Rd, KANATA
Ontario, Canada K2K 2E4
Representing IS Robotics and Khepera (see below). MIT subsumption
architecture style robots. Ghengis-II walker runs $8636.00 including a
development system and downloading board, but without LISP.
"Arrick Robotics "
2107 W. Euless Blvd.
Euless, Texas 76040 USA
R20 mobile robot platform for use by AI software developers. 3-wheel
design, 14" wide, 14" long, 10" tall, 15lbs. 20lb payload. On-board
controller connects to the user's laptop computer by cable or low-cost
RF modem (RS232). Sensors include compass, tilt, wheel travel,
temperature, light level, bumpers, battery status, etc. Price as of
1/1/95 $2,900.00. Units in use at UTA Automation Robotics Research
Institute. Send for detailed specifications.
"Bell and Howell"
Bell & Howell Mailmobile Company
411 E. Roosevelt Ave.
Zeeland MI 49464
email: For now email@example.com
Mailmobiles were developed by Lear-Siegler in the mid-70's for the
industrial cleaning market. They decided to leave this market and Bell
and Howell, the audio-visual equipment company, was refocusing on
office automation products and picked up this product from
Lear-Siegler. There are three models of Mailmobile, the Packmobile,
the Sprint and the Trailmobile. About 3000 systems sold and about 2000
probably in operation. They use a chemical trail that floureseces
under UV light. Payloads up to a couple of hundred kg. Some systems
have been operating for over 15 years.
"Branch & Associates Pty Ltd"
1153 Tasman Highway
Cambridge, Tasmania 7170
Australia (operating in Europe, Asia and America)
fax: +61-02-485-809 contact: Alex Vail, Division Manager
Since 1979, specialist in autonomous navigation and guidance; products
and technology for applications, research, and teaching. Conquerer
series of fully autonomous AGV's, mapping system, non-accumulated
error, accuracy 1cm, 1 degree, no environmental modifications, $12K -
Fander: research and educational mobile robot. $5.5K includes
everything: built-in software demonstrates in real situations numerous
exmaples of roboti mobility technologies for teaching, research and
teaching manual, stand-alone and remote PC modes, real time graphics.
115 Sheraton Drive
Salem VA 24153
url: Cybermotion Mobile Robotic Systems
John Holland's company. Mobile K2 bases making use of ingenious
torque-tube synchronous drive system. Security markets and research
platforms, manipulators for base as well. Map building software too.
31 Ontario Street
L3V 6H1 Canada
Primary product are 'building blocks' for mobile robot development
including controllers, sensors, softare and chassis'.
"Denning Branch International Robotics"
1401 Ridge Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
tel: (412) 322-4412
fax: (412) 322-2040
email: Soon. Messages to firstname.lastname@example.org will be forwarded.
Denning-Branch is a merger of Denning Mobile Robotics, once located in
the Boston area, and makers of human-size mobile robots since 1983,
and Branch and Associates, of Hobart, Australia, designers and
builders of smaller mobile robots since 1979.
Among the first products available is an MRV retrofit kit, which
substitutes a modern Intel 80486 system with more power and a simpler
interface for the 1985 vintage MC 68000 based controller.
Small (~60x30x30 cm) 80486 based robot for educational
purposes, with infrared and rotating sonar sensors,
preprogrammed for several autonomous navigation tasks, and
externally controllable via serial link. $5.5K
MRV 1 &4
Large (~90x90x120 cm) heavy payload capacity synchro drive
robot, with optional sonar ring and laser nav sensors and
Robot-mounted scanning infrared laser unit that uses wall
mounted bar-coded retroreflectors or active transponders to
navigate to centimeter precision in 10-meter-scale areas. $8K
Small-scale revolving sonar head with 4 sonar units and
MRV-scale belt of 24 sonar units and driving hardware and
14618 W. 6th Avenue
Golden, CO 80401
tel: 800.422.4265 (US and Canada)
RB5X mobile robot for educational use. Developed in the early 80's and
has been sold for many years. Similar to design and market for
Heathkit robots. RB5X is $2995. Also sell base unit without wheels and
shell board mounted for experimentation or building your own robot:
$1995. A variety of other options including sensors, cameras, radio
link and software for for Mac, Apple II and PC's are available.
Educational curriculum workbooks and manuals are also available
"HelpMate Robotics (formerly TRC)"
Shelter Rock Lane
Danbury, CT 06810
Helpmate Home Page
Labmate research platform - $7500, plus additional optional sensors
etc. Other products for hospital markets and floor cleaning machines.
(Helpmate and RoboKent respectively)
Suite 6, 22McGrath Hwy
Somerville, MA 02143
* R-3, wheeled robot, $14K
* Genghis II, 15" walking robot, $8.6K
* Pebbles III, tracked robot, $12.5K
* Hermes - high end walking robot
Robots use the 16MHz 68332 (68020 core) microcontrollers (except
Ghengis). Robots include IR and bump sensing for obstacle detection.
Pyro sensors and color camera with pan-tilt are optional. ISR also
performs contract engineering (custom robots). Check the ISR home
page for more details.
County Cork, Ireland
tel: +353 23 49791, 49808
fax: +353 23 49801
Teleoperated bomb disposal vehicles in a range of sizes.
"mecos Robotics AG"
tel: + 41 1 445 11 35
fax: + 41 1 445 11 34
Contact: S. J. Vestli
Company formed as a spin off of the Institute of Robotics, ETH wiss
Federal Institute of Technology). "mecos Robotics" specialises in
modular and adaptive robot manipulators and robot vehicles (mobile
robots). All "mecos Robotics" systems uses the same type of
controller, a VME based computer. This system comes with high level
development tools, and for research institutions the systems have the
advantage of being open. The overall goals of all "mecos Robotics"
systems are flexibility and modularity.
The mobile robot program from "mecos Robotics" follows this principle.
The physical size and the mechanical configuration can be altered. The
standard configuration has three wheels with air tyres and independant
suspension. One wheel is used for steering and propulsion (imagine a
kids tricycle). The overall size is 0.7 m (W) * 1.0 m (L) * 0.5 m (H).
The price depends on configuration and starts around the 70.000,-
Swiss Franks mark.
1060-B Terra Bella Avenue
Mountain View, CA 94043
tel: 415.988.7200 ext. 203
Nomad 200 is an integrated mobile robot system with four sensing
modules including tactile, infrared, ultrasonic, and 2D laser.
Integrated software development package for the host computer includes
a graphic interface, robot simulator and a library of motion planning,
motion control and sensory data interpretation functions. Geared
toward teaching and research in Robotics and AI. The Nomad utilizes a
synchronous steering system (ala Cybermotion and RWI). Speeds up to .5
meters/second and onboard battery power.
Nomad 200 Mobile Base $10,000
Nomad 200 Control System $ 6,000
Sensus 100 Tactile Sensing System $ 1,500
Sensus 200 Fixed Sonar System $ 2,500
Sensus 500 Structured Light Vision System $ 7,000
RF Modem Kit $ 2,000
Digital Compass $ 450