Robotic forklifts are inevitable in Australian warehouses, according to an artificial intelligence expert ahead of the trade show.
Freelance Robotics Principal William Pagnon says that central computers will orchestrate the movements of entire fleets of forklifts, coordinating the positions of all the forklifts in a warehouse while avoiding collisions or busy aisles.
Mr Pagnon explains that decision algorithms can make traffic fully automatic but should be able to be over-ridden by personnel. While GPS technology will guide forklifts outdoors, wireless networks would manage their paths indoors.
Mr Pagnon says the need for automated vehicles to be aware of their environments and safety brings a great deal of complexity since it takes a lot of resources to integrate object recognition, GPS, artificial intelligence algorithms and communication systems. This is one of the main barriers to adoption of fully automated fleets of vehicles.
However, Australian companies are embracing trials of automated vehicles at a faster rate than their European counterparts. Automated vehicles by Freelance Robotics will therefore be on show at Queensland Materials Handling.
Mr Pagnon says many companies are already beginning to build automation into otherwise manual tasks to achieve specific objectives including decreasing damage to goods and improving safety.
Partial automation of forklift use will soon be commonplace in Australian warehouses, where drivers are directed to the correct bay, there are no-go zones and artificial intelligence is used for improved WHS.
Mr Pagnon’s Freelance Robotics consultancy offers everything from the development of algorithms right through to working prototypes of specialised robots and automated vehicles.
Freelance Robotics will have automated vehicles and specialised robotics at the Queensland Materials Handling Show, co-located with the Queensland Safety Show and Queensland Manufacturing from June 21 to 23, 2011 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.