Drive Unit Robot: Smart Warehouse Keeper


Drive Unit Robot, Drive Unit

Drive Unit Robot is a smart warehouse keeper that slowly traverses the floor reading 2D QR/Datamatrix codes every 40″ and takes commands from it’s brain in the cloud before making any movements. When it gets to a pod, the bot uses a lift mechanism, spinning in place to raise a ball-screw that lifts the pod a few inches off the ground. Each side of the outer shell has an array of IR sensors and a pneumatic bumper for collision detection and avoidance. There is also a charging port and a series of status LEDs to signal the bot’s activity. The robot has three independent axes of motion: two drive wheels and a motor for the “lifter.” As the lifter motor spins, both drive wheels counter-rotate so the lifter appears stationary while the robot spins. This reduces the number of drive components and eliminates complex hydraulic or scissor lift mechanisms. The system comprises on 5 key components:

  • Custom designed shelves (“pods”) that are mobile and highly flexible
  • A grid of 2D QR codes implanted on the floor (known as “fiducials”)
  • An intelligent pack station decked out with scales, lasers, and sensors
  • Herculean orange robots that swiftly lift and move the pods around the floor
  • And most important of all: a complex and robust software system tying everything together

Specifications (Drive Unit Robot)

Weight 146.5 kg
Speed 4.68 km/h
Power V 28Ah lead-acid batteries connected in series (for 48v DC)


  • Country: USA 
  • Company: Amazon Robotics

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