Port robot revolutionises container unloading

Emptying sea containers is one of the few non-automated processes in the transport chain. Within a joint research project, our Bremen branch is working on an automated solution under the direction of Bremen Institute for Production and Logistics (BIBA), together with BLG LOGISTICS and image processing specialist FRAMOS. Goal: A robot should increase the efficiency of handling processes, thus reducing physical strain on employees. Equipped with an innovative gripper mechanism and kinematic system, the robot should be able to move autonomously from one gate to another and unload containers on its own.

“Component planning, designing and manufacturing, as well as the robot commissioning, will be accompanied by a digital twin via imaging simulation,” explained our Bremen colleague Marco Schrader, a robotics and automation specialist. "In this way, components can be simulated in advance and virtually tested." In addition, by using the virtual twin, development and research work can be organised in such a way as to save resources as much as possible.

The project group expects to release a first version of the robot no later than next year.

In the future, self-propelled robots will be able to handle container unloading operations and place packages on conveyor belts. | Photo: BLG LOGISTICS