Jason Walker met us at the booth for Waypoint Robotics at Promat 2019 in Chicago for another interview! It’s amazing how much their New Hampshire startup has grown in just one year.
When we interviewed Jason last April, their main exhibit was the Waypoint Vector. It’s a single autonomous mobile robot capable of transporting 600lb loads. This year, they were introducing a new titan of a product: the Waypoint MAV3K, which can transport up to 3,000lb!
It all comes back to the company’s drive to empower the human workforce, rather than replace it.
“We’ve really built for the people who say, ‘I’ve been running my machine shop for fifty years. Everything works great, except for that long walk, and I can’t find enough people to push carts.’ We can drop a robot into that situation and have it working that day.”
Waypoint is particularly ideal for dock workers or shipping clerks who spend a large chunk of their day walking back and forth around a massive facility. Waypoint robots retrieve items for them so they can focus on other tasks. MAV3K and the Vectors (gee, that sounds like a great sixties band name, doesn’t it?) are easy to set up. They require minimum programming, because they use AI to navigate routes all on their own. And that, according to Jason, is very much the point.
“We’re trying to give the shipping & receiving clerks, and the dock workers, and the assembly line workers a nail gun instead of a hammer.”
Whatever clients and customers need, that’s what Waypoint does their best to pursue. That was also how they developed features like the EnZone, which enables their robots to be self-charging. The stations can even charge whatever robotic arm might be attached to the Vector robots, and the arm can be integrated from any brand the client chooses. That means someone who buys one Waypoint product isn’t limited to only Waypoint technology throughout the rest of their warehouse.
Waypoint users can use as many or as few Waypoint products as they want…but they always know that the implementation will be easy, and scaling will be a breeze. Flexibility like that is hard to beat.
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