Last week in London, Viroteq won a virtual stacking challenge at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, or ICRA. The Abcoude, Netherlands-based company said its artificial intelligence-driven system optimizes stacking and packing processes with unknown, mixed-size packages.
“We are very proud to have won this international challenge, which is a great reward for all the hard work of our team,” stated Evert van Galen, co-founder and CEO of Viroteq, in a press release. “Since the start of Viroteq, when we noticed this huge but complex problem around logistic mixed stacking and packing tasks, we have worked hard to develop our newly launched RobotStackr AI solution to significantly improve the automation performance in these processes.”
“Winning this challenge proves that we belong to the best-performing solutions in the world,” he said. “We are looking forward to further optimize global stacking processes together with industrial innovation leaders such as Vanderlande.”
Deep learning enables varied box handling
Viroteq said it develops and supplies modular intelligence to enable integrators and end users to automate logistics processes and optimize transport efficiency. The company claimed that it offers flexibility in stacking and packing mixed-size parcels.
It added that its in-house, custom-made, deep learning algorithm can automatically handle incoming boxes of unknown size, color, and weight. It can then determine their optimal placement position.
Viroteq added that its product is adaptable to a wide variety of settings. The company said it works closely with partners, including integrators and end users, to develop and deploy its systems.
Also last week, Viroteq officially launched its RobotStackr product. The company said its StackrBrain technology at the core of RobotStackr enables users to efficiently apply complex AI models to flexible stacking and packaging processes.
Viroteq won the ICRA 2023 stacking challenge. Source: Viroteq
Viroteq victorious at ICRA
Vanderlande and the Fraunhofer Institute organized the virtual challenge to raise awareness of parcel-stacking and loading systems in sectors that struggle with labor shortages. Vanderlande provides logistics systems for the airport, parcel, and warehousing segments.
Manual stacking and loading processes are physically strenuous, noted the companies. With the increase in parcel varieties and requirements for process flexibility, the industry is demanding automation, but the technical complexity is high, they said.
Thirty-nine contestants from around the world participated in the virtual stacking challenge at ICRA 2023.
Viroteq said it used the StackrBrain AI technology to optimize the volumetric fill rate. It said it was able to create highly stable stacks so that packages were not damaged in transport in real-world situations.
“Viroteq is able to build stable stacks and achieve an impressively high fill rate and is therefore announced as the winner of this challenge,” said Stijn de Looijer, technology owner for robotic automation at Vanderlande. “We are looking forward to further investigate the technological and market readiness of this solution and introduce it into our logistics operations.”
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