Developing custom drive platforms with omnidirectional maneuverability.

Omnidirectional refers to the concept of existing in every direction. This concept is especially relevant in motorized cart applications where maneuverability is an issue. In these cases, omnidirectional maneuverability combined with the ability to carry a heavy payload has proven to be a very cost- and time-efficient motorized solution for many companies.

Conceptual Innovations has developed numerous drive platforms and motorized carts to help customers overcome challenges regarding limited space, weight considerations, and limited mobility. For example, a powered lift cart was developed for Meggitt that ensured accurate mold positioning while transporting tooling from a press station to various prep stations.

In the project for BAE, an OmniDirectional Cart was developed that could move vehicle chassis in and out of weld cells. This replaced an overhead crane operation that required trained operators who, along with the cranes, were not always available. The cart consisted of 4 OmniDirectional drive pods and 4 load-bearing swivel-on-swivel 97 Series casters from Caster Concepts. 

As more carts were needed for increasingly more difficult material handling challenges, new Drive Systems from Conceptual Innovations were developed, each with increased capabilities. This soon led to the design and production of the OmniDirectional Drive System developed for NASA.

In this instance, space constraints combined with excessive point loads made efficient load distribution a daunting process. To solve the problem, an OmniDirectional Drive System was built that featured eight independently powered pods. These pods enabled the system to move forward and back, side-to-side, turn-in-place, rotate and change direction while moving forward. This ability to move and turn simultaneously is unprecedented in the industry.

Retrofitting existing carts

When omnidirectional capability isn’t needed but a cart’s load capacity is too heavy to move safely in a manual operation, replacing a regular caster with a motorized one is one of the most efficient and easiest ways to reduce operator injury while moving much heavier loads. Conceptual Innovations introduced the first Drive Caster and has a variety of motorized cart solutions to help operators move heavier loads easier and with less effort.

Included in these solutions is the Motorized Material Handling Cart that can carry a load of 6,000 lbs. and is ideal for maneuvering in small spaces and tight places


  • Maximum load 6000 lbs.
  • Reduces potential for overexertion injuries
  • No special training required
  • Easy to move and maneuver