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Big Joe Reveals Collaborative Robot Named BUD at MODEX

Big Joe Forklifts will be previewing several new products with a look toward the future at this month’s MODEX trade show in Atlanta. Front and center will be the company’s vision for a new breed of semi-autonomous machines known as “co-bots” or collaborative robots which keep humans in the loop within material handling workflows to deliver maximum value.

Unique to Big Joe’s approach is its concept of User Directed Automation, where small autonomous machines empower workers as a force multiplier so people can focus on higher value-added work while robots attend to mundane tasks. Showcasing this concept at MODEX will be Big Joe’s User Directed Pallet Mover nicknamed “BUD”, which features a simple onboard tablet and cloud connection to drive autonomously on custom missions once an operator manually loads a pallet and tells it where to go.

BUD, can reportedly transport and drop-off loads of up to 3,300 pounds with basic obstacle avoidance and a swappable lithium battery to deliver exceptional operational flexibility. With the addition of an optional “universal carrier” attachment, BUD can be outfitted with a tow hitch, shelving, custom fixtures, or a simple deck to function as a jack of all trades just about anywhere.

BUD will be available for demonstration at MODEX and available later this year through a subscription service costing, in partnership with Vecna Robotics.

Also at this year’s MODEX, the Big Joe team will be showcasing a host of lithium powered lift trucks including its new RPL44 low profile rider pallet truck and PTT60 powered pedestrian tugger, both of which feature power steering. These new units reportedly offer innovative compact designs for numerous material handling applications as standalone products and were designed from the ground up to be autonomous ready for future development.  The standard RPL44 and PTT60 will be available for order at the conclusion of MODEX with deliveries to begin late spring.

Bill Pedriana, CMO of Big Joe Forklifts, will be speaking with Vecna Robotics’ Sr. VP of Sales, Jeff Huerta at MODEX during a break-out session titled: “No-bot to Co-bot: How small form-factor pallet handling robots make it easy to get in the automation game” on Tuesday March 29 at 10:30 am. On floor demonstrations of new Big Joe products will be available at booth #3219 and #3419.

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