New ARCS robot “brain” jump-starts automation

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Publication date: 1 August 2004



(2004), "New ARCS robot “brain” jump-starts automation", Industrial Robot, Vol. 31 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

New ARCS robot “brain” jump-starts automation

New ARCS robot “brain” jump-starts automation

Keywords: Robots, Navigation, Automation

ActivMedia Robotics Control System (ARCS) enables manufacturers to quickly automate wheeled equipment and programmers to integrate self-guided robots with security, communications, delivery and other building-automation infrastructure.

With mobile robot sales expected to swell ten-fold during the next 5 years, manufacturers of traditional wheeled equipment are eying the new devices with a mixture of hope and trepidation. Even automated-guided vehicle (AGV) manufacturers know little about sophisticated navigation techniques used by the so-called “intelligent” mobile robots. ARCS supplies this “brain” technology so others need not re-invent the wheel.

Says Jeanne Dietsch, CEO of ActivMedia Robotics, “We've worked many years to build a system that can reliably guide robots from place to place without lines in the floor or beacons on the walls. Just as importantly, we've developed tools so programmers can integrate those behaviors into productivity-improving robotic applications”.

While ActivMedia promotes its own surveillance robots, guides and delivery bots, the company is not worried about encouraging competition by sharing ARCS. “We want both OEM's and VAR's to apply ARCS in vertical and custom markets. They know their customers far better than we ever could,” says Dietsch. “We want to focus on expanding and maintaining our code base to make ARCS mobile robots ever more capable.”

Like a brain, ARCS combines sensing, hardware, electronics and software. With ARCS, mobile equipment manufacturers can connect their motor and power controllers to drive indoor vehicles autonomously. Software includes mapper, point-to-point navigation, patrol scheduling, wireless-networking and end-user MobileEyes applications as well as underlying navigation systems. ARCS' developer package for C++ software engineers adds the popular ARIA API – already in use by thousands of robot programmers – and various robot programming utilities.

The first third-party ARCS device is scheduled for completion in June, 2004.

For further information, contact: Donna Doran, ActivMedia Robotics. Tel: +1-603-881- 7960 × 104; E-mail:; Web site: or