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Forklift Use Case

This project targets the development and deployment of safe autonomous transportation systems across various real-life use cases, including the challenging environment of forklift operations. This Forklift Use Case highlights one of the four key scenarios exploring the integration of autonomous systems in logistics operations. This particular use case focuses on the demonstration of an autonomous forklift in factory environments, specifically in St. Valentin, Austria, and the premises of the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT).

Objective

The primary objective is to showcase the capabilities of autonomous forklifts in enhancing the efficiency and safety of truck loading operations within industrial settings. This includes demonstrating autonomous navigation and material handling, with a focus on integrating these technologies into existing logistics workflows.

The CRAYLER Vehicle

The CRAYLER BM represents a leap in forklift technology, designed by PALFINGER to combine strength, compactness, and operational comfort in an all-terrain, box-mounted forklift. This remotely-controlled forklift is engineered to handle goods and objects efficiently and flexibly, making it especially useful in environments lacking robust logistical infrastructure and personnel.

Key Features of the CRAYLER BM:

  • All-Terrain Capability: Its design allows for versatile operation across various types of terrain, ensuring reliability and robustness where traditional forklifts may falter.
  • Compact and Comfortable: Despite its strong build, the CRAYLER BM is compact and designed with the operator’s comfort in mind, facilitating ease of use in diverse operational contexts.
  • Advanced Automation: The integration of sensor technology, robotics, and intelligent software allows the Crayler to operate autonomously, significantly enhancing operational efficiency and flexibility. This development marks a significant advancement in the automation of truck-mounted forklifts.

Use Case Description

The Forklift Use Case involves an on-site demonstration where the autonomous Crayler forklift performs truck loading operations. The process begins when a truck parks at an arbitrary position, and either the driver or the freight management system assigns an unloading area. The Crayler then autonomously starts the unloading process, supervised by an operator to ensure safety and efficiency. This demonstration aims to integrate autonomous forklifts seamlessly into existing factory and warehouse operations, showcasing a significant step towards full automation in logistics. Key phases include:

Safe movement within open environments, demonstrating the forklift’s ability to navigate and operate autonomously without human intervention.

Autonomous loading of a single hand-picked pallet to a predefined location, focusing on precision and efficiency.

Fully automated loading and unloading of a complete truck, showcasing the integration of advanced sensor technologies and autonomous driving systems (ADS). This phase highlights the forklift’s capability in decision-making and problem-solving within dynamic operational settings. Enhanced pallet detection algorithms and a robust fleet management system contribute to ongoing performance optimization, underscoring the forklift’s adaptability and potential for industrial logistics.

Partners Involved

For further details, updates, and ongoing progress related to this use case, please visit our blog “AWARD’s Forklift Use Case Testing“.

Use Case Hub-to-Hub

Hub-to-hub shuttle service from warehouse/production site to logistics hubs.