Yusen Logistics awards Swisslog automated warehouse contract in Singapore

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Swisslog’s automated warehouse technology

Yusen Logistics, a provider of contract logistics and air and ocean freight forwarding, has selected Swisslog warehouse and distribution Solutions to deliver the “innovative AutoStore Automated System” in Singapore.

The autonomous robots, which sit on the top of an aluminium grid as part of the innovative storage system, is expected to go into operation in 2017.

This light goods automatic storage and retrieval system (AutoStore) investment is a result of Yusen Logistics’ insight into the philosophy of the shared economy and the need to manage rising business costs in the current global, lower-growth economy. Continue reading Yusen Logistics awards Swisslog automated warehouse contract in Singapore

BMW demonstrates future autonomous and connected logistics technologies

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BMW i models at the Port of Bremerhaven, Germany

BMW has been showing off and testing its latest technologies for the future of autonomous and connected vehicles for the logistics industry, although the innovations are intended for application in its own supply chain. 

The company says it will increasingly rely on innovation, digitalisation and sustainability for logistics in the future.

A fully-networked supply chain, autonomous transport robots and the use of existing vehicle information for the delivery process will make logistics even more flexible and efficient, says BMW. Continue reading BMW demonstrates future autonomous and connected logistics technologies

Audi shows off its smart factory technologies

Virtual assembly technology at Audi’s smart factory
Virtual assembly technology at Audi’s smart factory

Audi has been demonstrating its advanced manufacturing technologies, much of which went into building its newly opened smart factory in Mexico, where the automaker’s Q5 vehicle is being produced.  Continue reading Audi shows off its smart factory technologies

Consumer demand, and the demanding consumer, for the holidays

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By Thomas R. Cutler

Consumer spending trends suggest this holiday season for retailers and logistics companies will drive an improvement of 15 per cent year-over-year.

With retail sales in the US expanded 0.8 per cent in October after a strong 1 per cent gain in September, the Wall Street Journal’s Josh Mitchell reported, in the best two-month stretch of sales in at least two years.

The brisk spending is a strong sign that the economy is picking up steam, with both wages and employment rising. The expansion, mostly e-commerce, proves that once again online sales are growing at triple the rate of overall retail sales.  Continue reading Consumer demand, and the demanding consumer, for the holidays

Swisslog signs ‘major contract’ with tire manufacturer Michelin

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Michelin, the tire manufacturer, has selected Swisslog warehouse and distribution solutions to automate a new distribution center in the US.

The order value of the automation project amounts to a high multimillion-dollar range and was booked in the second quarter of 2016.

The new distribution center will supply passenger and truck tires throughout North America, allowing the company to meet its ambitions for responsible logistics.  Continue reading Swisslog signs ‘major contract’ with tire manufacturer Michelin

The Rubik’s Cube phenomenon: One for the all-time pop charts

lockTo date, more than 400 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold around the world. As such, the puzzle game is one of the biggest-selling products in history.

Not bad for a toy which its inventor, Hungarian architect Ernő Rubik, says he didn’t even plan to make.

He was working as a professor of architecture at the Budapest College of Applied Architecture at the time, in 1974, and built the cube with the intention of “searching to find a good task for my students”.  Continue reading The Rubik’s Cube phenomenon: One for the all-time pop charts

Rodriguez Automation launches MiR100 mobile logistics robot

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Rodriguez Automation has signed a deal to distribute the MiR100 platform of mobile robots for the automation of internal transport.

The company says this new generation of advanced mobile robots is designed to optimise workflows, free-up staff resources for more valuable tasks and allow users to increase productivity, shorten delivery times and reduce costs.

Indeed, high operational efficiency means that return on investment can be achieved within 12 months in many instances.  Continue reading Rodriguez Automation launches MiR100 mobile logistics robot

Robots are positively impacting our world, says Aethon

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By Anthony Melanson, vice president of marketing, Aethon

Autonomous mobile robots and self-driving vehicles are part of our world. How should you judge them?

Robotics headlines are everywhere: “China’s Impending Robot Revolution”, “IFR Report Offers Good News for Robot Developers,” and “Can Robotics Spark a Renaissance in American Manufacturing”.

There’s little question that self-driving robots, drones and other automated vehicles are integral to the present and future success of organizations in a wide-variety of sectors.

Self-driving cars are on a tremendous innovation curve and it will be exciting to see them develop. From healthcare to industrial material handling, robots are positively impacting our world. Continue reading Robots are positively impacting our world, says Aethon

Cargoways using Gatehouse Logistics telematics to monitor truck fleets transporting racing cars

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Cargoways controls routes with the ghTrack telematics portal of Gatehouse Logistics to monitor 170 trucks carrying racing cars every day with the technology

It’s been a breakthrough year for forwarding company Cargoways Logistik & Transport, winning the business of transporting race cars to venues.

The first contract was to transport Formula E equipment using 35 trucks from London to Paris and the success of that operation led to Formula 1 enquiries.

Cargoways specializes in transports to islands. Currently, its core business is between Italy and England, but opportunities are now opening up to the firm in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Germany.  Continue reading Cargoways using Gatehouse Logistics telematics to monitor truck fleets transporting racing cars

Denso invests in deep learning and vision processing startup Thinci

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Robotics and automation giant Denso says it’s become the lead investor in Thinci

Denso says its investment in startup will help accelerate next-generation automotive technology, using innovative deep learning and vision processing silicon and software. 

The company adds that its investment will lead to advancements in driver assistance and autonomous driving, improve the efficiency of thermal systems, and optimize the productivity of the vehicle’s powertrain.

Tony Cannestra, Denso International America’s director of corporate ventures, says: “Denso has been researching new developments in the area of computer vision processing. We strongly believe that Thinci’s technology will soon become a key component of next generation autonomous driving systems that require advanced computing techniques combined with deep learning capabilities.  Continue reading Denso invests in deep learning and vision processing startup Thinci

Logistics automation: Mercedes looking to capitalise on growing e-commerce market

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Mercedes has revealed a futuristic van which it says will feature at the centre of an autonomous, or at least, highly automated delivery system. 

The “Vision Van”, which apart from its shape looks nothing like your usual van, is equipped with drones which integrate into the system through the internet of things.

Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz vans, says: “The Vision Van embodies the intelligent, clean and fully connected van of tomorrow – with electric powertrain, fully automatic cargo space, integrated delivery drones and innovative communication features.”  Continue reading Logistics automation: Mercedes looking to capitalise on growing e-commerce market

Logistics robots: The way you move

As Joni Mitchell once sang, and Janet Jackson reiterated, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”.

So it was when Amazon bought Kiva Systems in 2012 for a chart-topping $775 million.

Now one of the world’s largest online retailers, Amazon is also growing its logistics business, with 30,000 Kiva robots working away at its warehouses all over the world. Continue reading Logistics robots: The way you move

Clearpath Robotics raises $30 million to expand Otto self-driving logistics vehicle technology

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Funding from iNovia Capital, Caterpillar Ventures, GE Ventures and previous investors will expand new Otto Motors division

Clearpath Robotics, a leading provider of self-driving vehicle solutions, announced today the completion of a $30 million investment led by iNovia Capital with participation from Caterpillar Ventures, GE Ventures, Eclipse Ventures, RRE Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.

Clearpath will use the funding to grow the company’s industrial division, Otto Motors. Clearpath launched Otto Motors in 2015 to focus on self-driving vehicles for material transport inside manufacturing and warehouse operations.

Matt Rendall, CEO and co-founder of Clearpath, says: “Factories operate like small indoor cities, complete with roads, traffic, intersections and pedestrians.

“Unlike city streets, a factory floor is a controlled environment, which makes it an ideal place to introduce self-driving vehicles at scale. Companies like Google, Tesla and Uber are still testing, whereas our self-driving vehicles are commercially available today.”  Continue reading Clearpath Robotics raises $30 million to expand Otto self-driving logistics vehicle technology

Omron launches ‘AI-equipped’ mobile robot for logistics

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Omron Adept has launched what it says is an artificial intelligence-equipped mobile robot.

The new vehicle was developed for indoor use by the company’s US subsidiary, Omron Adept Technologies.

Omron says it will release two variations of the Mobile Robot LD Platform in 33 countries simultaneously on January 20, 2017, as a “step toward realizing harmony between humans and machines in the field of manufacturing”.  Continue reading Omron launches ‘AI-equipped’ mobile robot for logistics

University of Pennsylvania’s Ghost Robotics launches Minitaur four-legged robot platform for autonomous vehicle applications

Ghost Robotics says Minitaur four-legged robot built for highly-precise force feedback applications and movement across unknown, rough and vertical terrains 

University of Pennsylvania startup company Ghost Robotics has launched its first patent-pending direct-drive legged robot platform, Ghost Minitaur. 

Ghost Robotics specialises in the research and development legged, direct-drive or gearless and proprioceptive robotics technologies.

Founded by University of Pennsylvania PhD candidates, Avik De and Gavin Kenneally, Ghost Robotics is researching and building next-generation legged robots that are superior to wheeled and tracked autonomous vehicles in many field applications.  Continue reading University of Pennsylvania’s Ghost Robotics launches Minitaur four-legged robot platform for autonomous vehicle applications