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PERSOL develops remote control solution for AGVs (News Release)

June 10, 2021
PERSOL Professional Outsourcing Co., Ltd.

PERSOL develops remote control solution for AGVs

- To be marketed to the construction and logistics (warehousing and transportation) industries in 2022 with the aim of creating new ways of working in construction, logistics, security, and more -

PERSOL Professional Outsourcing Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President and Representative Director: Shinji Masaki) — a company aiming to contribute to the improvement of productivity in the world through the power of people and technology in the PERSOL Group, which provides comprehensive human resource services — has developed a remote control solution for Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) in cooperation with PERSOL RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: 3-18-1 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi, Japan; President and Representative Director: Eiji Isoda), a subsidiary working in technology engineering in fields including automobiles, aerospace, robots, and digital consumer electronics. Always looking ahead, PERSOL will continue to further the advancement of its solutions and aim to create new ways of working through remote monitoring and remote operation.

■Background: Expanding use of AGVs and growing needs in various industries
According to an announcement by PERSOL RESEARCH AND CONSULTING Co., Ltd.,1 Japan's labor shortage is becoming increasingly more serious, with a projected shortage of 6.44 million workers by 2030. The need for AGVs in productivity improvement, one of the solutions to Japan's labor shortage, is increasing, and the Japan Industrial Vehicles Association2 announced that system deliveries of AGVs in 2018 were the highest ever, more than double those of 2014. AGVs have been used as transport robots on factory production lines since the 1990s. However, in recent years, the development and use of big data and AI technology has enabled them to be used outdoors and to run autonomously. They are currently used in a variety of industries, including manufacturing and logistics.

PERSOL Professional Outsourcing developed this solution as AGV utilization has been expanding across fields in recent years and has the capability to solve labor shortages by improving productivity. In the future, we aim to use remote monitoring and control technology with moving vehicles to create new ways of working, such as by improving productivity in target fields and implementing remote work.
1 Future estimates of the labor market 2030: https://rc.persol-group.co.jp/thinktank/research/activity/spe/roudou2030/ (Japanese text only)
2 Delivery statistics of AGV systems in 2018: http://www.jiva.or.jp/pdf/AGV-Stat-2018.pdf (Japanese text only)

■Solution Overview

Our AGV remote-control solution is comprehensive and includes operation programs and expansion units that enable the monitoring and operation of AGVs from remote locations using smartphones and tablets. Sales to the construction and logistics (warehousing and transportation) industries are planned to begin by the end of fiscal 2022. The on-board functions of this solution can be customized and developed to meet the needs and solve the issues of the company utilizing it.

■Key Features

  1. Remote Operation Without Touching the AGV
    When using an individual AGV, it used to be that operation could only be conducted through the main unit. However, the use of a newly developed solution expansion unit makes it possible to operate an AGV by connecting it to a video game controller. Virtual buttons can also be displayed on smartphone and tablet screens, enabling remote control even when a video game controller is not available.
  2. Real-Time Images from the AGV's Perspective
    The expansion unit is equipped with a camera that gives the user line of sight from the AGV's perspective in real time via a smartphone or tablet. This enables users to remotely control the AGV by checking the route and obstacles around the AGV even when it is out of sight.
  3. Check the AGV's Speed and Battery Level
    You can monitor the status of the AGV, such as speed and remaining battery power, with a smartphone or tablet.

As of the end of April 2021, this remote operation solution has been confirmed to work with Doog's collaborative transport robot Thouzer. We will continue to advance this solution by implementing additional features (see below) by the end of fiscal 2021 and expand the range of mobility and robotics that can be remotely monitored and operated using this solution.

<Coming Features>
Monitoring of the surrounding environment using remote sensing technology
Remote communication function using avatars

PERSOL Professional Outsourcing will continue to contribute to the betterment of society through the power of people and technology, aiming to create a world in which each individual can work in their own way.

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