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New breakthrough: VisionNav Robotics Realizes the First Domestic Autonomous Forklift Truck Loading and Unloading
Date of issue:2021 / 11 / 24

In recent years, with the rapid development of factory logistics automation and intelligent technology, the efficiency of warehouse internal operations has greatly improved. However, due to various obstacles, platform automation outside the warehouse has always been difficult to break through.Most companies still use manual loading and unloading operations.However, with the disappearance of the demographic dividend, the high labor intensity of loading and unloading, poor working conditions, and serious loss of stevedores, etc., the cost of platform loading and unloading has continued to rise, all of which have prompted companies to seek automatic dock loading and unloading solutions to replace manual operations. 


Today, we are introducing a case of VisionNav Robotics helping a world-renowned chemical company to realize automatic platform loading and unloading. This is also China’s first successful realization of driverless forklift loading and unloading of cargo trucks.


Project Background

The warehouse platform is the place where goods must pass through. Whether it is unloading external materials from trucks into the warehouse, or transporting materials from the warehouse onto trucks, there are two seemingly simple processes, but low work efficiency , Low security, high error rate, high cargo damage rate and other issues often occur. This project, introduces VisionNav’s VNE20 series counterbalanced truck AGF,which easily handle heavy-load material handling indoors and outdoors, meet rigid demand scenarios such as external platform loading and unloading, large-tonnage indoor transfer to achieve the purpose of platform loading automation, labor saving, time saving, cost saving, and safety and efficiency improvement.


Project Highlights

Highlight 1:

Semi-outdoor platform loading and unloading, precise positioning cargo container

The biggest challenge of platform loading in semi-outdoor is the trucks are parked in an inaccurate position, it is difficult for AGF to accurately locate and place the goods after it enters the longer cargo container. Based on VisionNav ‘s unmanned driving framework, VNE20 driverless forklift adopts a vision plus laser positioning solution to cope with outdoor positioning with changing light. After the AGF enters the long and narrow container, through the perception of laser and visual positioning, the two rows of cargo can be accurately placed with 18 pallets in an environment with a width of 2.35m and the left and right gap of the cargo are less than 30mm. The positioning accuracy is almost comparable to that of manual operations.

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Highlight 2:

Docking with the warehouse WMS system to dispatch driverless forklifts

The central control system, independently developed by VisionNav, is docked with customer's WMS system through the network to realize the task scheduling and vehicle scheduling of driverless forklifts. When the cargo truck is parked and the boarding bridge is set up, the outbound task is issued under the warehouse system to transport the target loaded goods to the warehouse exit. After the goods reach the end of the conveyor line, the PLC sends the loading signal to the central control system of AGF, and the driverless forklift is dispatched to pick up the goods for loading.


The entire loading process does not require excessive manual intervention except for tasks issued from the terminal, improving the safety of the loading process, reducing cargo damage caused by manual handling, reducing truck waiting time, and improving overall operating efficiency.

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Highlight 3:

Automatically detect the presence or absence of goods, intelligently adjust the placement position

The counterbalanced truck AGF used in this project adopts visual navigation technology, and obtains high-precision and high-stability global position by capturing environmental images and extracting image feature. Not only can it detect the condition of the goods at the designated position, but when there is a deviation between the right and left of the goods, AGF can also adjust the operating position, and correctly fork the materials that are placed in deviation, creating a highly flexible logistic scene of platform automatic loading. 
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Highlight 4:

Sharing pallets with driverless forklifts makes cargo tracking more convenient

Yeloworld intelligent shared tray is used in this project, which is perfectly matched with the 3D warehouse, and is compatible with most conveying and automated handling equipment. The pallet has built-in RFID electronic tags and self-positioning system, which can effectively trace the goods, improve the work efficiency of warehousing personnel, reduce logistics operation costs, and realize the full visibility and control of the goods. At the same time, VisionNav’s driverless forklifts and smart automatic warehouses intelligently handle and store goods, realizing intelligent management of receiving and dispatching, turnover in the factory, and goods storage.


Yeloworld’s smart shared pallets are made of reused and renewable raw materials and are 100% recyclable. It is reported that every piece of shared pallets will reduce carbon emissions by 7kg/year, and the increase in the number of cycles will greatly reduce the carbon footprint and carbon emission.

4.jpgThe application of Yeloworld’s smart shared tray in the automatic 3D warehouse


Customer Reviews

"The semi-outdoor platform automatic loading solution greatly improves the loading and unloading efficiency of the factory, shortens the waiting time of trucks, and increases the utilization rate of the fleet, which saves transportation costs. At the same time, it increases the loading and unloading capacity of each platform, speeds up the outbound of goods, reduces the area of the cache area and warehouse costs, and realizes the automation of the entire process from the interior of the warehouse to the loading of goods out of the warehouse."

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VisionNav Robotics:

VisionNav Robotics(www.visionnav.cn), founded in 2016, a global leader in industrial driverless vehicles, is committed to empower vehicles with technology and provides flexible unmanned logistics solutions with core of industrial driverless vehicles. At present, it has developed and produced 8 series of driveless forklifts and tractors products, which broke through 9.4m high access, 2.0m narrow aisle access, driverless loading and unloading trucks, and multi-layer mobile frame stacking. More than 50 industry benchmark companies have field application cases, covering automobile manufacturing, tires, food, petrochemicals, e-commerce logistics, third-party logistics, pharmaceuticals and other fields. In September this year, VisionNav completed hundreds of millions of Yuan in C-round funding. Investors include Bytedance, Shunwei Capital, China Unicom CICC, IDG Capital, Lenovo Ventures and Eastern bell capital.