evoBOT, an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML, completed its first test run at the Munich Airport.
With its unique design consisting of two wheels and gripper arms, evoBOT keeps itself balanced while performing a range of tasks. The self-balancing robot can handle hazardous goods, transport parcels for longer recurring distances, relieve employees during lifting and overhead work, procure materials, and provide support during the loading and unloading of an aircraft.
evoBOT can reach a maximum speed of up to 60 km/hour (around 37 MPH) and can transport a load of up to 100 kg (over 220 lbs). It is a dynamically-stable system based on the principle of an inverse compound pendulum, which means it doesn’t have an external counterweight. Its ability to balance makes it able to move on different and uneven surfaces.
“Our evoBOT is the beginning of a new population of autonomous vehicles and robots. With its arms and the fact that it moves on two wheels, it represents a step on the path to the humanoid future of robotics. The practical test carried out at Munich Airport impressively underpins the potential of this development. The evoBOT can work as a fellow colleague in a wide range of applications,” professor Michael ten Hompel, managing director of Fraunhofer IML, said.
At Munich Airport, evoBOT has performed a practical test in the cargo terminal and on the apron of the airport. The airport tests further proved how versatile the robot is.
“The development and expansion of the cargo and logistics sector are essential components of our corporate strategy. We welcome every initiative to optimize and digitalize handling processes. The evoBOT will facilitate the day-to-day work of our employees in the cargo area and make the workplace more attractive”, Jost Lammers, Chief Executive Officer of Munich Airport, said.
The collaboration included participation from Cargogate Munich Airport GmbH, Fraunhofer IML, the Digital Testbad Air Cargo (DTAC) project consortium, CHI Deutschland Cargo Handling GmbH, Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, Lufthansa Cargo AG, LUG aircargo handling GmbH, Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG, Schenker Deutschland AG, and Sovereign Speed GmbH.