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Big Joe Forklifts Launches BUD Cobot

BigJoe BUD 400x275

March 28, 2022

Wisconsin-based Big Joe Forklifts has launched a new collaborative robot, in collaboration with Vecna Robotics, that keeps humans in the loop with material handling workflows. The Big Joe’s User Directed Pallet Mover, nicknamed “BUD”, features an onboard tablet and cloud connectivity to drive autonomously on connected missions once an operator manually loads a pallet and tells it where to go.

The robot comes out of Big Joe’s 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 the robots attend to mundane tasks.

BUD can transport and drop off loads up to 3,300 lbs., with basic obstacle avoidance features and a swappable lithium battery for operational flexibility. Companies can add an optional “universal carrier” attachment to outfit BUD with a tow hitch, shelving, custom fixtures, or a simple deck that functions as a “jack of all trades.”

“Automation as we know it in material handling is about to be turned upside down by products like BUD,” said Bill Pedriana, CMO at Big Joe Forklifts. “As opposed to having to do lengthy site surveys, complicated ROI calculations, and expensive implementations, the whole idea of this technology is going to flip to where machines become so simple to deploy and low cost that the user becomes their own integrator and these items become a practical day to day tool for most companies.” Pedriana added that the company’s vision for the initial product is akin to the PC revolution where enterprise-level technologies suddenly became accessible to everyone.

The BUD robot will be available later this year through a subscription service, costing less than $50 per day in partnership with Vecna Robots, which powers the BUD system. At MODEX 2022, Big Joe also demonstrated lithium-powered lift trucks, including the new RPL44 low profile rider pallet truck, and PTT60-powered pedestrian tugger, which feature power steering.

For more details on the new system, visit the Big Joe Forklifts website here.

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