DHL launches new logistics innovation contest

Inventors challenged to create solutions for the ever-increasing volume of material in warehouses and distribution centers.

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DHL has announced the second of its Innovation Challenges, and is calling for inventors to design a prototype of a mobile piece-picking robot with an arm that can navigate traditional warehouse shelves, picking up items and placing them into an order tote.

The challenge is open to startups, researchers, and university students who can develop an innovative robotic device capable of autonomous mobility and item picking in a typical warehouse environment.

The minimum target requirements for the robot (subject to change) are:
● Minimum total payload of 15 kg (30 lbs)
● Manipulation of single items with a maximum height, width and length of 60cm (24’’)
● Minimum manipulation weight of 7 kg (15 lbs)
● Obstacle avoidance/visual guidance system
● Electrically powered
● Maximum reach height of robot: 190cm or 75”
● Maximum width of ~100cm or 39”

The prototype must be able to traverse a typical warehouse environment at walking speed while picking items from shelves and maneuvering these items into a packaging area. It should save warehouse workers the task of walking and manually pushing a trolley through the aisles.

Winners could receive the opportunity to:
● Pitch their concept to senior DHL executives
● Participate in a joint proof-of-concept with DHL
● Win a grand prize of €15,000 with DHL
● Display the winning concept at the DHL Innovation Centers

Participants must submit a document containing 500 words or less and video content of up to three minutes in length. For the top three entrants, this video will be used as part of the pitch at DHL Innovation Day. Both the document and video should outline the problem, and explain the solution.

All entries must be submitted by 16th September 2017 at 5 pm GMT. Finalists will be notified on October 6, and the award ceremony will take place at DHL Innovation Day on November 16.

Click here for more information.

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