A large Dutch company specialized in future-proof logistic process automation and partner of an international open innovation contest is looking for solutions and technologies to to further automate the container loading process. SMEs and academia are sought to participate in an open innovation contest. A research and development agreement is envisioned.
(100-4000 characters) A Dutch company is a market-leading, global partner for future-proof logistic process automation in the warehousing, airports, and parcel sectors. Its extensive portfolio of integrated solutions – innovative systems, intelligent software, and life-cycle services – results in the realization of fast, reliable, and efficient automation technology. The company is a leading supplier of process automation solutions that address the challenges in the parcel market. More than 52 million parcels are sorted by its systems every day, which have been installed for the world’s leading parcel handling companies. Today the company faces many challenges, which they hope to solve with partners. For instance: The growth of e-commerce has resulted in a strong increase of parcel volumes. A large part of those packages that are shipped worldwide are transported in containers. Those containers are loaded manually, while one of the biggest challenges of parcel companies today is labor availability. The company believes that robotic solutions will play an important role to further automate the container loading process. This challenge addresses the 3D bin packing problem of parcel loading, which can be seen as a 3D Tetris game that the robot is playing to fill a container. The challenge consists of 3 scenarios: 1. Adhoc packing [no lookahead, no sequencing] 2. Hybrid packing with lookahead [lookahead, no sequencing] 3. Hybrid packing with lookahead and sequencing [lookahead, sequencing] Together with a German research institute the company submitted an open competition to everyone working or willing to work on the respective tasks of the individual competition tracks. Researchers from industry and academia working on these tasks are especially encouraged to participate in the challenge. We also welcome commercial solutions to the tasks at hand in the competition. The winner contestant will be selected to jointly explore product development of a parcel loading solution. A research and development agreement is envisioned.
Advantages and innovations
This challenge addresses innovations regarding the 3D bin packing problem of parcel loading, which can be seen as a 3D Tetris game that the robot is playing to fill a container. As mentioned, the challenge consists of 3 scenarios.
Technical Specification or Expertise Sought
The following expertise is looked for: SMEs and academia are asked to develop a software component that outputs place poses for a set of parcels that must be loaded in a container. As input partners will receive the dimensions of the parcels and the container, and as output we expect a pose for the parcel to be loaded. The motion planning and control of the robot arm are out of scope for this challenge.
Contact / source: NEXT EEN Widgets (europa.eu)
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