OTTO Motors takes big steps toward the VDA5050 standard for interoperability

As one of the first AMR vendors to support the VDA5050 standard and to open-source its connector, OTTO OTTO Motors is at the forefront of interoperability. Compliance with standards like VDA5050 will be especially important in facilitating the adoption of automation among enterprises around the world. OTTO Motors is committed to supporting interoperability while opening up new opportunities for autonomous material handling as the industrial automation sector develops.

VDA5050 is an interoperability standard that was developed so that automatic guided vehicle (AGV) and AMR providers can leverage a common interface. It specifies AGV and AMR safety, performance, and communication guidelines. The VDA5050 standard reduces costs, and downtime while increasing safety and flexibility for manufacturers who are automating their production processes. As OTTO Motors recently accomplished, other AGV and AMR vendors need to make their robots VDA5050 compliant to take advantage of these benefits.

Together with InOrbit and Ekumen, OTTO Motors has made even further strides toward interoperability by being the first vendor to make the VDA5050 connector open-source. This commitment to interoperability enables any ROS-based AMR to be controlled by a VDA5050 Central Control—including competitors’ systems if they adopt the standard—which ensures quick compatibility and accelerates global support for the standard. The OTTO Motors open-source code can be accessed on GitHub.

“Supporting VDA5050 is a significant milestone for OTTO Motors,” said Jay Judkowitz, Vice President of Product at OTTO Motors. “By adhering to this standard, we’re empowering global manufacturers with more sophisticated and cohesive automation solutions to tackle their toughest operational hurdles. As the automation landscape evolves, it’s vital for all AGV and AMR vendors to follow suit.”

OTTO Motors has taken steps to address the challenges of implementing the standard by conducting rigorous tests to verify the functionality of VDA5050 support in OTTO Motors AMRs. During testing, the company has shown that VDA5050 compatibility enables seamless communication and integration between AMRs and third-party controllers. Testing by NVIDIA confirmed in simulation that its Mission Dispatch software worked seamlessly out of the box with the OTTO Motors VDA5050 connector.

“Managing and testing fleets of autonomous robots requires two computers—one in the robot and one in the cloud—to dispatch tasks and communicate the status of these tasks to and from the robots,” said Gerard Andrews, Product Marketing Manager for Robotics at NVIDIA. “As part of the NVIDIA Isaac robotics platform, we built Mission Dispatch and Mission Client on VDA5050 to facilitate interoperability for users handling heterogeneous robotics fleets, and OTTO Motors embracing VDA5050 will help to further advance interoperability.”

In October 2022, OTTO Motors’ worked with InOrbit, a robotics operations platform, to verify VDA5050 compatibility. In this demonstration, an OTTO 100 and a third-party AGV were seamlessly controlled by InOrbit’s master control. InOrbit is designed to track all of the missions for mobile material handling by following the progress of each device.

InOrbit’s master control demonstrated the capability to directly issue an order to OTTO 100, and when it detected that the two robots were in close proximity and disrupting traffic flow, the master control paused the AMR and allowed the less capable AGV to proceed.

“InOrbit and OTTO Motors are aligned in our commitment to accelerating the adoption of robotics through effective robot orchestration,” said Florian Pestoni, CEO and Co-Founder at InOrbit. “We believe that the ability to manage material handling across multiple vendors is critical for the industry to thrive. Our collaboration with OTTO Motors is a crucial step towards achieving this goal. We are excited about the impact this will have on the industry and look forward to continuing our partnership.”

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Written by

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman is Senior Editor of WTWH's Robotics Group, cohost of The Robot Report Podcast, and founder of the Mobile Robot Guide. Oitzman is a robotics industry veteran with 25-plus years of experience at various high-tech companies in the roles of marketing, sales and product management. He can be reached at