May 3, 2019

Toyota announces material handling research grant recipients

Lift truck giant to fund projects on drones, "instant" warehouse automation, intelligent material handling systems, and Industry 4.0.

By DC Velocity Staff

Lift truck manufacturer Toyota Material Handling North America (TMHNA) has chosen four research projects for its funded research program to develop supply chain technologies, the company said in April. This year's winning projects focus on truck/drone delivery fleets, "instant" warehouse automation, intelligent material handling systems, and Industry 4.0.

This is the third year for the TMHNA University Research Program, which promotes the development of next-generation technologies for supply chain, logistics, and material handling industry applications. The lift truck maker solicits proposals from universities across North America and then provides funding for the most promising ones. Selected proposals can receive financial support of up to $1 million.

This year's winning proposals were selected from a field of more than a dozen submissions. They include:

  • "Real-time rural medicine handling and transport using a coordinated fleet of trucks and drones," a proposal submitted by Daniel F. Silva of Auburn University.
  • "Warehouse automation in a day," submitted by Hadas Kress-Gazit of Cornell University.
  • "Intelligent material handling (iMH) systems for warehouse applications, Phase II," submitted by Michael Kuhl of the Rochester Institute of Technology.
  • "Using Industry 4.0 digital twins to model human labor in smart material handling systems," submitted by Jesus A. JimĂ©nez of Texas State University.

"This program stemmed from TMHNA's commitment to continuously provide the industry with solutions that are smarter, more efficient, and more effective," said Brett Wood, the company's president and CEO, in a statement. "We're thrilled to see such impressive thinking from researchers and institutions around new technology and innovative approaches to the material handling industry, and we're eager to see how their work will impact the warehouse of the future."

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