Warehouse innovation had a moment in the spotlight this month, and the industry can thank a team of student researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology for that. The occasion was the Collegiate Inventors Competition Expo, held in Alexandria, Va. As one of six finalists in this year's Collegiate Inventors Competition, Georgia's Team Oculogx was on hand to showcase its entry, a product that combines smart glasses with augmented reality (AR) to improve efficiency in picking operations.
The product, called PickAR, is a mixed-reality application used with a headset that combines bar-code scanning for immediate inventory control with navigation that projects the optimal path through the warehouse to each item. According to the team, the technology supporting PickAR produced a 37-percent boost in efficiency over existing picking methods in lab tests at Georgia Tech.
While the Oculogx team did not win the prestigious competition, it did earn a chance to show off its invention to expert examiners from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as well as the media and potential sponsors. Other cutting-edge entries on display at the event included a nasal breathing tube from Johns Hopkins University, a brain surgery health monitor from the Stevens Institute of Technology, a chronic-wound healing system from the University of Virginia, wearable solar panels from the University of Maryland, and the winner—a system that prevents newborn piglets from being accidentally crushed to death by their mothers—devised by a team from the University of Iowa.