April 1, 2015

Virtual lift truck trainer wins MHI Innovation Award

Drivers use forklift simulator to build skills.

By DC Velocity Staff

A novel approach to boosting forklift safety and productivity at an economical cost won the "Best New Innovation" award at the ProMat material handling trade show in Chicago.

The product is called Forklift Simulator, created by a Belgian tech startup company of the same name. Users sit in an authentic duplicate forklift driver's seat and grab the dummy vehicle controls, then don virtual reality headgear that displays a 360-degree view of their computer-generated surroundings.

As if they were playing a video game, trainees can then practice maneuvers of increasing difficulty to build their skills and confidence without creating a safety risk for themselves, the lift truck, other workers, or warehouse equipment.

Trainers can upload customized scenarios as well as set the unit to duplicate the controls and technologies on the forklift brand used in their own facility. The prize was awarded March 25 by the material handling industry group MHI at its 70th anniversary banquet following the trade show.

MHI also gave the CubiScan 25 dimensioning and weighing system its "Best Innovation of an Existing Product" award. Created by Quantronix Inc., of Farmington, Utah, the unit measures small and irregular-shaped items to enhance cartonization, reduce packaging material use, and decrease potential hikes in dimensional weight shipping charges.

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