Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML presented the drone »Bin:Go« on the »Volkswagen Innovationstag Logistik 2016« (Volkswagen innovation day Logistics 2016) in Wolfsburg on 22 November 2016. The rolling and flying robot – developed to transport goods with less than one kilogram in the production and logistical environment – convinced the logisticians on the site: They determined Fraunhofer IML to be the top innovator of the »Volkswagen Scouting Logistics Innovations«.
The drone had to undergo a multilevel selection process to take part in the innovation day in the first place: The jury selected the project of Fraunhofer IML from 128 applicants in total. The selection process for the event already started months ago: All participants had to send profiles of their innovation. A decision making committee with logistics representatives of the Volkswagen Group and the Institute for Production Management (IPM) selected for the time being 40 companies – the so-called »Selected Suppliers« – on the basis of these profiles. With »Bin:Go« Fraunhofer IML eventually convinced the representatives of the Volkswagen Group and the Institute for Production Management (IPM) in the last round and was elected »Nominated Supplier«. With that the drone secured itself a place at the »Volkswagen Innovationstag Logistik 2016« in Wolfsburg. There, »Bin:Go« convinced the logisticians of VW: They appointed Fraunhofer IML as the top innovator.
»Bin:Go« already has solved some problems caused so far by the use of drones. Usually, drones require a lot of energy and are not allowed to work with humans in one room because of safety reasons. »Bin:Go«, however, rolls most of the time and is therefore far more energy-efficient. Moreover, the outer spherical cage protects both the rotors inside and the employees. Thus, several drones and humans can work together in one room. In the factory of the future »Bin:Go« intends to transport small, light-weight goods completely autonomously. The drone does the transport mainly by rolling. It can overcome height differences and potential obstacles by flying over them. That makes »Bin:Go« flexible and scalable – a crucial advantage over competitive technologies like conveyor technology or tube mail.