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Are you smart enough to build a robot?

Time:2016-06-16 18:35 Source:Air Cargo World Writer:admin Click:Times

The robots are taking over, at least if DHL has its way. And the nerds. The integrator’s “Robotics Challenge” is aimed at creating new self-driving delivery robots and sustainable logistics models to reduce the airfreight industry’s environmental footprint.


On the robotics side, the aim is to develop prototypes for a “self-driving delivery cart that can autonomously accompany staff during last-mile delivery.” Bill Meahl, DHL’s chief commercial officer, explained that “an ever-increasing number of parcels need to be delivered” and that, currently, workers are, “required to manually push this volume through the streets.” With the current model on the way out, prototypes need to be able to traverse typical urban and rural landscapes at walking speed while carrying parcels.


The Robotics Challenge is being held in conjunction with DHL’s Fair & Responsible Challenge, which calls for “sustainable logistics solutions for the world of tomorrow.” All entries must be submitted by 28th September 2016 at 5 pm GMT.


It’s no secret that airfreight has a massive carbon footprint. A Defra study found that two tonnes of freight carried 5,000 kilometers by a small container ship creates only 150 kilograms of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) compared to 6,605 kilos of CO2e produced when the same load is hauled the same distance via air cargo. IATA has called for the “development of long-term strategies and investments to achieve a sustainable industry.” Now, DHL wants to lead the charge.


To do so, the integrated logistics company is soliciting ideas and solutions that “address and solve environmental and social challenges with new and innovative logistics-based business models.” The scope is pretty broad, ranging from using logistics to facilitate the circular economy to developing new products, service solutions, or packaging concepts. DHL’s stipulation is that the idea must generate value for society, the environment and businesses.





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