Developing robot-assisted logistics
Innovators are developing new maintenance concepts for parks and other outdoor spaces. The solutions utilise automation and robotics.
In the Concepts and Ideas innovation competition, inventive concept-level solutions were looking for solutions that promote the circular economy with robotics or other technology. Out of 11 candidates, two were selected as winners of the competition. Both companies received 4,000 euros for the further development of their ideas.
The growth company CONTAI(external link) is doing concept design for the AutoMod project(external link). The work aims to create a modular solution for moving and using maintenance equipment in cities, their surrounding areas and sparsely populated areas.
If successful, the solution can promote the use of shared operator and fleet resources and the simultaneous use of manual and autonomous vehicles. Standardised interfaces provide a wide range of application possibilities.
CONTAI envisions that future maintenance equipment could be driven by, for example, a light vehicle or a mobile robot. Their loading, transport and unloading could take place autonomously and remotely controlled.
The concept is designed to maintain urban and nature areas, such as collecting recycled materials. CONTAI is a local logistics start-up whose core is multipurpose, autonomously loaded applications. The CONTAI concept developed in Finland has won numerous international circular economy and local logistics start-up competitions.
4 The Drivers Oy(external link) prepares a detailed plan for a mobile transport and distribution unit for mobile robots and a control room, built as a compact unit in the back of a van as part of the AutoMod project,. The company utilises its off-road robot platform for professional use in its solution. The intended use is waste management in outdoor areas, such as parks.
In the future, the robot can, for example, pick up and transport separately sorted garbage bags. Then human workers wouldn't have to go around large areas with their loads; on the other hand, heavy waste management vehicles wouldn't have to operate in parks. It will save energy costs, increase employees' working comfort, and improve park traffic safety. Traditionally, when driving with a pickup truck, for example, parked electric scooters and similar traffic obstacles limit movement, but a compact mobile robot could easily get around the obstacles.
The project's jury scored the concept ideas with representatives from Forum Virium Helsinki, the City of Espoo, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, NewCo Helsinki, HSY and Nokia Oyj. All participants received the information on the final score. Forum Virium Helsinki used its right to leave part of the prize money undistributed.
Forum Virium Helsinki and the AutoMod project welcome all participants and new companies interested in robotics to participate in developing solutions to the challenges of the circular economy. In autumn 2022, we will open a second innovation competition with a larger prize amount, aimed primarily at companies with their resources and technical know-how to implement a robotics prototype during the AutoMod project.