Black-I Robotics, a well-known Boston-area robotics company, announced that its Fullscope Mobile Heavy Lift Arm is being demonstrated at MassRobotics, the robotics industry's innovative hub on the Boston Seaport District.
The robotic arm was based on prior work for the U.S. government, which required an arm that could accommodate a payload larger than the existing standard, as well as being intelligent, durable and reliable in all terrains and environments. The newest arm can lift up to 100 pounds -- four times the standard -- while safely moving around a busy warehouse and other workplaces where humans and machines work side by side.
Beta Test at Fortune 50
Black-I CEO and robotics pioneer Brian Hart said that the company has pivoted to the commercial sector, introducing the arm in late March at Modex, the large materials handling industry show in Atlanta. "Our robotic arm was a hit at the show, with visitors from some of the country's largest and best-known companies coming by to see our demonstration," according to Hart. "They have followed up in earnest after the show. In fact, once we leave MassRobotics, we'll be doing a beta test of our prototype at a Fortune 50 company. In the meantime, MassRobotics makes it possible for us to demo the arm to potential investors and end users. The showcase also puts us near interns and co-op students from Boston-area universities interested in a possible career in the robotics industry.
Hart says that Black-I Robotics partnered with Ascend Robotics of Cambridge to improve the software at the heart of the device. David Askey, Ascend's CEO, says that the arm "features an AI-based integrated suite of cameras, sensors and software that enable it to 'see' a dynamic workplace and move around obstacles, whether human or machine, to do its job fast, efficiently, safely." He adds that the Fullscope Arm can be efficiently mounted or dismounted from manned and unmanned vehicles, including trucks, backhoes and forklifts, picking and placing objects faster and more accurately than ever before.
A Solution to the Over-stretched Supply Chain
"We understood how challenging it is for virtually all companies today to find workers," Hart emphasizes. "And not just any workers, but workers who are willing and able to spend hours picking up and moving items -- often heavy items -- day in, day out in a very busy environment. Our arm is the answer to an overstretched supply chain that gets so much attention today from the media and politicians. Our arm not only enables companies to get products to market faster and more economically, the device's object recognition and avoidance capabilities bring enhanced safety to the workforce. With this arm, workers compensation claims and injuries from lifting heavy objects will be dramatically reduced."
MassRobotics is the leading robot consortium and technology accelerator in the United States. Black-I Robotics has been in the robotics business since 2008.