Designed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML, the evoBOT has mastered a first practical test in the cargo terminal and on the apron of Munich Airport.

The dynamically stable transport robot is notable for its gripper arms and the adaptive load pickup made possible by them. It can take on a wide range of tasks, such as handling hazardous goods, transporting parcels for longer recurring distances, relieving employees during lifting and overhead work, procuring materials or even providing support during the loading and unloading of aircraft.

The two-wheeled evoBOT is exceptionally agile. It can reach a maximum speed of up to 60km/h and transport a load of up to 100kg. Its manoeuvrability means the evoBOT can be operated both indoors and outdoors. Its low carbon footprint also contributes to its diverse use.

“Against the backdrop of rising air freight figures and the challenges of recruiting employees, we are very pleased to be able to take a look into the future with Fraunhofer IML. Into the very near future at that,” said Claudia Weidenbusch, managing director of Cargogate Munich Airport.

The Digital Testbed Air Cargo (DTAC), in the context of which the current test was carried out, and the initial development of evoBOT are funding programmes of the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV). In addition to Cargogate Munich Airport and Fraunhofer IML, the DTAC project consortium includes nine other partners from research and industry: CHI Deutschland Cargo Handling, Flughafen Köln/Bonn, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Fraport Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, Lufthansa Cargo, LUG air cargo handling, Mitteldeutsche Flughafen, Schenker Deutschland and Sovereign Speed. 

“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 colleague in a wide range of applications”, said Professor Michael ten Hompel, managing director of Fraunhofer IML.

Image: Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML