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      Lagerhalle mit gelbem Fahrzeug
      February 21, 2024

      Continental Mobile Robots

      Robots are the future - mobile transport robots for the automation of production and intralogistics are the key element on the way to the Smart Factory!

      My name is Tobias. I work at Continental in Frankfurt in the Autonomous Mobile Robots division of the Motion Technologies & Services segment, where I am responsible for product management for the intralogistics product line. In this product line, autonomous mobile transport robots are developed for use in production and intralogistics areas to automate material flows. My motivation is to develop highly complex system solutions together with the specialists in international and interdisciplinary project teams and thus actively shape the future of mobile robotics. I am also active in research and teaching as a Continental Ambassador as part of a cooperative professorship at the University of Applied Sciences Frankfurt.

      Challenges in production and intralogistics

      Increasing complexity, ever shorter innovation cycles and a growing number of product variants are having an ever greater impact on value creation networks in the manufacturing industry. The industry is also facing further challenges, as highly volatile markets and enormous cost pressure are becoming increasingly prevalent in times of globalization. The effects of these phenomena are particularly noticeable in the production and logistics areas of manufacturing companies. Against the backdrop of increasingly complex material flows, a closer look at the structures shows that intralogistics is becoming an ever more crucial element in the factory of the future. Demographic change is leading to a shortage of qualified workers, especially for mostly simple and repetitive intralogistics activities, making the automation of material flows indispensable. Frequently occurring routines and processes must therefore be automated in the smart factory. Innovative autonomous mobile transport robots are a key element in mastering complexity and ensuring resilient logistics flows.

      Origins of mobile robotics at Continental

      Continental is actually best known as an automotive supplier and is a driver of innovation for safe, connected and sustainable mobility. However, if you take a closer look, we also develop numerous technical solutions for the resilient and reliable design of value creation networks in the manufacturing industry. Our autonomous mobile robots are certainly a particular highlight. As a technology company, Continental is naturally particularly keen to actively shape megatrends such as the automation and digitalization of production processes in the context of Industry 4.0. We therefore decided to simply develop our own autonomous mobile robots and deploy them in Continental plants. Naturally, we were able to draw on over 150 years of expertise in the manufacture of mechatronic systems for the mobility sector. Our expertise in the field of autonomous driving was of course particularly helpful and definitely made it easier for us to enter the world of mobile robotics. Since then, we have continuously developed our robot system and are now in the third generation of robots. Motivated by the convincing experience gained at Continental plants and the positive feedback from colleagues, we have also decided to offer our mobile robot to external customers and share our success story. 

      Robot system and functionality

      Basically, our current version of the autonomous mobile robot AMR IL 1200 is a driverless transport vehicle for use within production and intralogistics environments and the autonomous transportation of goods. Thanks to built-in sensors and software-based intelligence, it is able to fully perceive its environment and move and navigate independently within it. In concrete terms, this means that the robot can be assigned specific transport orders, which are then carried out fully automatically. The robot is designed for the transportation of goods stored on pallets and goods weighing up to 1,200 kg. With the help of an integrated lifting device, it can drive under load carriers and lift them. A range of different superstructure elements enables us to offer the right interface for picking up the load in almost any situation. However, in order to fully automate intralogistics material flows, more than just a robot is required. Higher-level intelligence in the form of holistic fleet management control allows numerous robots to be combined into a fleet and interact together. Order assignments and the loading of individual vehicles are controlled according to demand and ultimately deployed in a targeted manner. We are of course constantly striving to expand our product portfolio, so we are always busy developing new robot variants for intralogistics.

      My personal motivation

      Robotics has always fascinated me! Continental sets technological standards in many sectors, including in the field of mobile robots. I am convinced that robots are the future, especially in production and intralogistics. Personally, I am particularly motivated to use such innovative technology creatively and intelligently, but also always consciously, and to constantly develop it further with ambitious and passionate colleagues. This is precisely the opportunity I have at Continental as Head of Product Management for Mobile Robotics and, together with my team, I can actively and directly influence its development. Following our mission - Making things easy!

      Further information on Continental Mobile Robots can be found here:

      Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tobias Bornemann

      Head of Product Management Autonomous Mobile Robots Intralogistics