As spin-off of the recently completed research project ”InventAIRy – Identification with autonomous flying robots” the young company doks. innovation offers a unique solution for optimising warehouse and logistics processes on the basis of autonomously flying drones. This spin-off shows one again how an increase in logistics efficiency can be achieved by exploiting research results and their implementation into economically successful products respectively services. Dipl.-Inform. Martin Fiedler demonstrates in his technical contribution how the founding team built a bridge between prototype and marketable product.
doks. innovation develops solutions for a new form of automated warehouse and inventory management. In view of the fourth industrial revolution, various scanners and sensors are integrated in autonomous flying drones. These scanners and sensors identify objects and their features, label and codes and other relevant identification features and information. The registered data will be transferred to planning and filing systems; enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) and warehouse management systems always receive the latest information on localisation. A dashboard visualises each current inventory and shows each historically registered state. This leads to more transparency, an acceleration of all processes for planning and diagnosis and forms the basis for the machine-to-machine communication (M2M).
Research network guarantees innovations
The ”InventAIRy” research project, that was funded over three years by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the technology programme ”Autonomic for Industry 4.0” and was completed at the end of last year, helped to develop the basis for this innovation. InventAIRy was moreover an associated project of EffizienzCluster LogistikRuhr, a leading edge cluster of the Federal Government. The project aimed at developing an autonomous flying robot that can navigate independently through warehouses by applied sensor technology and take inventories. The biggest challenge was in the development of an autonomous flying robot system with cognitive abilities that controls itself and communicates with other objects (M2M) and software systems via intelligent interfaces. The researchers of InventAIRy were able to push forward crucial developments with respect to (real time-) data generation and evaluation in the logistical environment. The doks. innovation founding team does not only benefit from the technological research results but also from a reliable network of associations, politics, customers and industry experts that built up during and because of the project.
High demand for warehouse optimisation
The demand for software solutions particularly for the optimisation of warehouse and logistics processes is high in European companies. All in all about 60 per cent of all companies in the logistics industry are currently planning investments in the area of logistics information technologies and software – not least in the context of Industry 4.0. 48 billion Euro alone – about five percent of the sales volume (about 960 billion Euro) of the European logistics market – are planned according to forecasts to be invested into optimization measure of warehouse and logistics processes. Already today, about 40 per cent of the logistics companies use PaaS services (Platform as a Service) and rely on cloud solutions like autonomous systems. However, the potential of those that have not yet faced up to Big Data or still use manual systems without automated business intelligence solutions is also very big with about a third of all companies.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dipl.-Inform. Martin Fiedler is Managing Director of doks. innovation. As Head of AutoID Technologies in the department Packaging and Trade Logistics at Fraunhofer IML in Dortmund he was also project manager of InventAIRy.
MORE ABOUT THE TOPIC