If it can be said that conveyor belts have defining qualities, perhaps their most defining is that they move in one direction. Well, not all conveyor belts.
This omnidirectional conveyor belt is built by Intralox, a company based out of New Orleans with a history that matches the city. Its parent company Laitram was founded1949 by one JM Lapeyre, who was responsible for the first industrial shrimp peeler. Intralox was founded in 1970 when Lapeyre got apatent for a modular plastic conveyor belt which would not rust, a plus when interacting with food.
The Activated Roller Belt (ARB) has a similarly practical function. It can quicken time or packaging and sorting by moving products down into custom rows and sizes, make sure sensitive packages don’t get slammed by bumpers, and only needs one drive and a few actuators to work.
Intralox isn’t the only company to make an omnidirectional conveyor belt, and over the past handful of years, the tech has been becoming more widespread. That doesn’t make it any less fun to watch, though.