KION Group, Fraunhofer IML Tie Up To Launch Autonomous Guided Vehicle LoadRunner

kiongroupfraunhofer sep07 lt

Intralogistics specialist Kion Group AG (KGX.DE) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) on Tuesday announced a collaboration to develop LoadRunner, a distributed-AI-assisted vehicle that can operate as a swarm.

The two are establishing a joint Enterprise Lab at Fraunhofer IML in Dortmund to work together on prototype, market-readiness as well as ongoing technical refinement. The lab is scheduled to begin its work this September and would operate for a minimum of three years. KION would also be licensing the LoadRunner technology from Fraunhofer IML for use in its international group of companies.

Fraunhofer IML's LoadRunner is a driverless autonomous guided vehicle (AGV) that combines sorting and material handling technology with artificial intelligence. The LoadRunner was unveiled at the 2019 Digital Summit as part of a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). It allows distributed and intelligent vehicle coordination, maneuverability and omnidirectional running gear that is designed to lift the high-speed AGVs to a new level of swarm robotics.

In September 2020, a trial using the LoadRunner for parcel sorting delivered the first promising results revealing that with just 60 vehicles, it would be theoretically possible to sort well over 10,000 items per hour. The common goal of KION Group and Fraunhofer IML is to optimize AI-assisted swarm technology, from basic sensor to overarching platform, and launch it on the market. Kion believes that the use of artificial intelligence would make their customers' warehouse processes simpler, faster, more efficient and also ease the burden on the local logistics teams so as to significantly increase profitability.

KGX.DE is currently trading at 91.26 euro, up 0.80 euro or 0.88 percent from previous close.

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