Software upgrade improves performance of OTTO Motors’ AMRs

OTTO Motors released a software upgrade that increases the speed and performance of its autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for materials handling applications. For example, it claims the new 2.26 software release improves the speed of its OTTO 1500 v1.2 AMR by as much as 10%.

Here are some highlights of the new software release:

Improved path planning: The latest software release makes significant enhancements to the robot path planning method, which is one of the most critical aspects in ensuring the safety and productivity of AMR deployments. Up until now, OTTO used Search-Based Planner (SBPL) that enabled its AMRs to make their own paths from start to destination taking into account parts of the map that are not explicitly excluded.

To enable faster and more predictable path planning, OTTO Motors is introducing a Graph-Based Planner (GBPL) that allows customers to specify lanes and junctions to restrict normal path planning to only the segments that customers want the robots to use. Instead of starting from scratch at the beginning of every movement, GBPL creates a network of paths, or a ‘graph,’ throughout the map during the map creation and distribution process.

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Faster speeds: OTTO Motors first brought 3D Obstacle Detection to its product line via the introduction of Intel Realsense technology. The Realsense unit projects a grid of points in Infrared (IR) and uses two IR cameras slightly physically offset to detect how that grid overlays the physical environment. Comparing the two data streams and using stereoscopic depth estimation, the system is able to perceive the surrounding environment in three dimensions.

While 3D obstacle detection was a huge step forward from a simpler 2D planar LiDAR, its initial implementation was limited by the onboard computing power available at the time of the earlier models. OTTO Motors has been continuously working on making this available to its customers for being able to detect smaller objects.

While OTTO was able to add ground segmentation processing to the OTTO 100 without personal computing (PC) changes, it introduced Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) on OTTO 1500 and OTTO Lifter to provide this capability across all of its AMRs. Ground Segmentation uses the video feed to determine where the floor is within the IR data stream. Using this knowledge, the detection thresholds have been reduced making it possible to detect smaller objects resting on the floor.

Auto-localization: another new feature is Auto-localization which enables robots to localize on their own with one click of a button. Results are near instantaneous and require no effort from the user.

Blockly programming: OTTO’s customers can now experiment with Blockly, a visual programming editor that allows them to tell robots what to do without having to write code. Using this simple interface, customers can create user-defined workflows for the robots and implement custom handling of events like safety stops.

You can read an in-depth breakdown of the new software features from this OTTO Motors blog. The company’s previous software release came in June 2022 and improved the performance of AMR fleets.

“Customers rely on us to provide the most productive and safe industrial robots as they tackle supply chain issues and target 24×7, uninterrupted operations,” said Jay Judkowitz, VP of product at OTTO Motors. “The latest software release significantly lowers mission completion times for our robots, directly impacting the overall throughput and ROI for the customers. We also aim to enhance the overall user experience in this release, increasing efficiency for plant managers and floor managers. We are laser-focused on continuously upgrading our product.”

OTTO Motors, which is the industrial division of Clearpath Robotics, recently named Guidance Automation its first reseller in the United Kingdom. Leicester-based Guidance Automation will offer the OTTO 100, 750 and 1500 AMRs. The AMRs will be offered with Guidance Automation’s attachments and support services for a complete solution for material handling automation.

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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