The DHL & Dell Robotics Innovation Challenge 2017 won by Vecna Robotics

The American Vecna Robotics has just won the robotics challenge organized by DHL and Dell. His robot, the Tote Retrieval System (TRS) wins the $15,000 prize for a challenge at the DHL Innovation Center in Troisdorf, Germany, where the robot was to perform the “picking” of boxes of varying sizes and weights in a rack. The robot triumphed in the events and its designer hopes to market it as soon as 2018.

A system of picking that should be available by mid-2018

With the Amazon Robotics Challenge, the DHL & Dell Robotics Innovation Challenge 2017 has established itself as one of the most important robotics challenges in logistics.

The Tote Retrieval System from Vecna robtics and its UGV RC20.

In this 2017 edition, its organizers wanted to confront the robots in a picking session. While Amazon is concentrating on image recognition, DHL and its partner Dell wanted to focus on handling parcels in front of a 1.9m high rack over several meters long. The robot had to be able to pick up boxes of 60cm maximum side for a weight not exceeding 7 kg. The robot had to be able to move electrically, avoiding possible obstacles and bringing the packages to a predefined location.

In this game, the robotic system devised by Vecna Robotics’ engineers performed best in front of the competition. This consists of a mobile system capable of picking up packages from the shelves, the Tote Retrieval System. As required by the specifications, this one is mobile and comes to place itself in front of the claimed cardboard in order to seize it. However, it is a small autonomous robot already marketed by Vecna Robotics, the RC20 Conveyer, which takes care of the carton and brings it to the operator.

Daniel Theobald, co-founder and CEO of Vecna Robotics, said the Tote Retreival System is not just a demonstrator. It can already be purchased as a pre-order and the first copies should be delivered in mid-2018.

Source: “Vecna Robotics Wins DHL & Dell Robotics Innovation Challenge 2017 with Tote Retrieval System”, Vecna Robotics press release, 12 December 2017

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