Research projects at the Chair of Materials Handling and Warehousing

Innovation Lab
Logistics is much more than the transport of goods and commodities. Parallel to the transport of goods, logistics ensures the accompanying flow of information. It became the driver and symbol of international and value-added networking and an important innovation driver for Industry 4.0.

In the «Hybrid Services in Logistics» research project an innovation laboratory was set up at TU Dortmund University to develop, test and put into practice new logistics technologies quickly and easily. The focus is on those hybrid services that lead to horizontal and vertical networking of the economy. In particular, new forms of cooperation between people and machines are being researched.

In the innovation laboratory, demonstrators and test environments are set up. At the same time, a scientific and social discourse on the further development of human-machine interaction and new concepts of industrial work is initiated. Companies can thus develop and test new strategies, product and process innovations in Dortmund. This will result in new software and hardware services, planning and operating concepts for agile logistics systems, and solutions for a new generation of human-machine interface. The results find their way into practice – especially in SMEs – via targeted transfer projects and the scientific-social network.

The social networked industry needs people and serves the people. Against this background, digital technologies are being developed in the Hybrid Services in Logistics Innovation Lab that provide meaningful support to people and increase their productivity and satisfaction.

The shaping of innovations into hybrid services is ensured by so-called showcases with the (among others with the Vicon system) in five areas: Trade, Production Logistics, Transport, Maintenance and Virtual Training.

Detailed information about the newly designed InnoLab Research Centre

Recommended products

Vicon Nexus has been designed for the requirements and workflow of Life Science users. Data recording and processing can be fully customized to fit your requirements (for example by including your own marker sets and biomechanical models), and then automated so that routine tasks require only a mouse click. Data is hierarchically organized in the data management, and direct interfaces to MATLAB and Python allow data to be processed without the need to export and import data files.

Tracker has been designed for the requirements and workflow of Engineering users wanting to track the position and orientation of objects with as little effort and as low latency as possible. Perfect for many applications in robotics, UAV tracking, VR and human-machine interaction, Tracker lets you define what you want to track with a couple of mouse clicks – and then you can just leave in the background tracking. A simple SDK lets you connect the output data stream to your own software.

Vantage is Vicon’s flagship range of cameras. The sensors have resolutions of 5, 8 and 16 megapixels, with sample rates up to 2000Hz – this allows you to capture fast movements with very high accuracy. The cameras also have built-in temperature and bump sensors, as well as a clear display, to warn you if cameras have moved physically or due to thermal expansion. High-powered LEDs and sunlight filters mean that the Vantage is also the best choice for outdoor use and large volumes.

Vicon Reality in intralogistics

Through the use of virtual reality, intralogistics systems and processes can be planned, tested and evaluated much better. By coupling with the Vicon Motion Capturing System, the range of motion can be significantly increased. With the use of backpack PCs and the latest generation of Head Mounted Displays (HMD), intralogistic systems can be depicted realistically. Likewise, various scenarios in the area of picking and packing are virtually planned and automatically evaluated. This can be implemented up to collaborative intralogistics planning with several people at the same time.

Activity detection and motion classification with the Vicon system

When planning and optimising order picking systems knowledge of the duration of manual activities plays an important role. The aim of the research project is to develop a method for analysing the manual activities of an order picking process, with which, among other things, the order picking time shares can be automatically recorded.

The Chair of Materials Handling and Warehousing has been conducting research in intralogistics since its foundation. Together with other chairs at TU Dortmund University, he has been supporting and promoting teaching in logistics ever since and is committed to promoting young academics. As a founding and long-standing board member of the Scientific Society for Technical Logistics WGTL, Prof. Michael ten Hompel and his chair have been involved nationally and internationally in establishing this relatively young discipline in the field of science.

The future is imagined here

The strategic equipment of the research centre is oriented is oriented towards two topics that will be highly relevant in logistics research in the coming years and decades: Localisation and wireless communication. Due to the flexible equipment and hardly any fixed test stands, a large number of autonomous actors can come together ad-hoc and decentrally controlled to form temporary associations in order to jointly provide logistical services. Industrial processes of the future can be represented and researched in this way.

The TU Dortmund University adorns the new image flyer from Vicon

You can find the flyer here: Helping robots and humans work hand-in-hand

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