Autonomous mobile robot maker AutoGuide Mobile Robots today announced that Mike Harper, an experienced robotics and application engineering executive, will lead its efforts to grow market share. The new vice president of sales and marketing will also work to expand the company’s the global footprint with key integration partners. In addition, Harper will help customers improve efficiency and throughput with AutoGuide’s flexible product architecture, said the company.
“Working with AutoGuide to help manufacturers and warehouse managers successfully move materials through their facilities in today’s rapidly changing circumstances was instantly compelling to me,” stated Harper. “AutoGuide’s unique modular mobile robotic solutions let companies quickly get their products where they need to be, from stock to dock and back, so to speak.”
Experience in robotics
Prior to joining AutoGuide, Harper served as the vice president of sales and application engineering at Soft Robotics Inc., where he was a key member of the executive team responsible for business development, revenue reporting to the board of directors and global leadership.
Before Soft Robotics, Harper served for 10 years as the sales director for Festo US. He has also served as the director of sales, Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan for Adept Technology and the vice president of business development and sales for Bodine Development & Test Systems. Harper holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from East Carolina University.
”Mike’s proven experience in the robotics and engineering fields make him an ideal fit for AutoGuide,” said Rob Sullivan, president and CEO of AutoGuide Mobile Robots. “While none of us has experienced the exact circumstances we’re dealing with today, his level-headed personality and vast knowledge of the inside workings of manufacturing and warehouse environments can help innovative warehouse managers adapt and prepare for this next evolution of material transport. We’ve already seen this situation play out with several prospects in the few weeks Mike has been with us.”
AutoGuide offers AMRs for widening applications
Chelmsford, Mass.-based AutoGuide Mobile Robots designs, develops, and manufactures high-payload autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for assembly, manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution operations across multiple industries.
The company claimed that its Max-N10 and N15 modular AMRs are the most reliable and affordable natural-feature guidance platforms available. They can be configured for a growing number of applications, such as the Max-N10 tuggers and Max-N10 pallet stacker. The N15, which was launched in March, has a 15,000-lb. towing capacity.
AutoGuide said its SurePath fleet management software can specify routes, coordinate autonomous lifting and transport of pallets, and manage the AMRs’ traffic to optimize customers’ material transport. The company added that its products have reduced costs and increased efficiency for customers such as Pactiv, Ford, and Husqvarna.
“With AMRs that are easy to train and deploy, have short ROIs [returns on investment], and are inherently safe, AutoGuide continues to scale fast across multiple markets while preserving its nimble, entrepreneurial culture,” Harper said. “As I’ve already experienced during my short time with AutoGuide, this is an excellent market to be in today and will be for years to come.”
AutoGuide has research and development center in Massachusetts and a manufacturing facility in Georgetown, Ky., where it has retrained and employed former coal miners. Teradyne Inc. acquired the company for $58 million in November 2019.
AutoGuide responds to pandemic
On its website, AutoGuide Mobile Robots said that it has implemented A/B teams, social distancing, and thorough cleaning at its factory in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is back in full production. It is also providing remote support, relying on parent Teradyne to strengthen its supply lines, and participating in local charitable programs.
Harper will speak in an upcoming series of webinars to help educate manufacturers and warehouse managers on deploying AMRs in their operations. The first webinar, “Warehouse Automation is No Longer an Option. Now What?” will take place Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. EST.