STILL's iGo neo platform operating in a warehouse setting - image credits STILL
This article was first published onwww.sevensense.ai
The intralogistics specialist STILL, a subsidiary of the KION Group, leads the German project consortium of the Intelligent Motion Control -IMOCO4.E- research project.
The goal of the IMOCO4.E project is to enable intelligent trucks to navigate autonomously in a factory or warehouse.
In numerous warehousing and production settings, semi-autonomous trucks are already in use and have already proven to be profitable assets. However, they remain constrained by certain limitations.
While these trucks can presently detect obstacles and apply brakes independently, achieving complete self-driving capabilities requires further development. Intelligent trucks should be able to navigate warehouse environments fully autonomously. They should be able to understand their surroundings, avoid obstacles, and find the most efficient routes.
The IMOCO4.E project focuses on applying solutions based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to address challenges in four main scenarios: navigation, collection, and movement of goods, and delivery to their final position.
In this context, STILL's iGo neo platform, which already comes very close to the idea of this autonomously driving vehicle due to its 'intelligent' equipment and the resulting capabilities, was equipped with an Alphasense Autonomy unit from Sevensense Robotics.
Alphasense Autonomy leverages Visual AI technology to provide precise navigation and obstacle avoidance capabilities in complex and dynamic warehouse environments -with racking, inbound and outbound areas, and even when transitioning from indoors to outdoors.
The Visual AI system maps out the environment and provides precise positioning without using any type of infrastructure.
In addition, Sevensense is prototyping the implementation of AI to perform Semantic Scene Understanding, which allows the vehicles to extract information about the objects in their environment, to detect, classify, determine the position, -and when applicable, predict the movement of obstacles e.g. people and vehicles, and other objects of interest such as pallets, docking or charging stations.
With this information, the vehicles are able to adapt their navigation behavior -stopping, slowing down, or overtaking obstacles-, based on real-time perception, allowing them to interact with the environment, for example, docking, picking, or charging, while safely sharing the floor with moving elements like people and other vehicles.
“In the IMOCO4.E4.E project, STILL is partly refining and extending existing approaches with regard to general interactions of his iGo neo platform in an unknown environment. The high precision and reliability of the localization provided by Sevensense's Visual AI technology is of great benefit here", says Ansgar Bergmann, responsible for the IMOCO4.E project at STILL.
The collaboration between Sevensense Robotics and STILL within the IMOCO4.E research project marks a significant stride toward the realization of fully autonomous trucks in warehouse and factory environments.
The project is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2024.