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Automate the container loading process

126 2023. 3. 16.
Automate the container loading process

Summary

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.

Description

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.

Technical Specification or Expertise Sought

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.

Technology Keywords

1.3.3 Applications for Transport and Logistics
2.8.3 Logistics

Market Application Keywords

9.1.4 Mail and package shipment

Sector Group

Mobility-Transprot-Automotive

Type and Size of Client

Other

Type and Role of Partner Sought

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 apose for the parcel to be loaded.
The company will provide a parameterizable Docker container running the simulation setup. This Docker container will be publicized for the contestants to set up, train and validate their robot controllers
for the given tasks.
Participants should prepare a compiled Docker image of their robot controller, which interacts with
the provided simulation container via ROS. The contributed robot controller will be evaluated before
the conference by the organizers against novel test cases run in the simulation container.
The motion planning and control of the robot arm are out of scope for this challenge.

Type of Partnership Considered

Research cooperation agreement
Technical cooperation agreement

Company

DeltaTech-Korea

Internal Reference

TR20230012

Category

TR

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