Handling and transportation of goods is a manual process with great operational risk. Goods-handling at ports and logistic hubs require large teams of workers and is dangerous and prone to human error. Accidents and work-related injuries are common, and in the period 2009-2014 in Norway, the following industries represent 67% of the total casualties; construction industry (59), transportation and logistics (44), agriculture and fishing (43) and industry in general (33). For a typical onshore base operator, 50-60% of the total costs are related to labour. By remotely controlled & autonomous handling and transportation of goods, calculations show that it is possible to reduce labour costs with 40% to 60%, and almost completely remove accidents causing casualties and work-related injuries. Increased use of remote control & autonomy enables increased competitiveness despite high labour cost. Drones for priority-deliveries to e.g. offshore sites will increase efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. We aim to develop a technology platform consisting of software, sensors and compute-devices that will function as the “eyes, senses and brain” turning forklifts, drones and cranes into smart, collaborative devices. This will allow manually- and autonomously controlled transportation devices to interact in uncontrolled environments with self-awareness, smart AI perception of the surroundings, including machine-to-machine communication. More specifically, the project aims to develop perception- and robotic control technology through computer vision and artificial intelligence, allowing autonomous control and interaction of cranes, forklifts and drones, thus enabling autonomous handling of goods. The technology platform developed during the project may be retrofitted to existing machines and integrated into the existing infrastructure, thus enabling economic growth while contributing to circular economy for existing ports, quays and logistic hubs.
Project leader: Ann Kristin Hilleren
Institution: VOCA AS