evoBOT, an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML, has successfully completed its inaugural test run at Munich Airport, marking a significant milestone in robotic innovation.
Distinguished by its distinctive design featuring two wheels and gripper arms, evoBOT maintains its balance while performing a diverse range of tasks. This self-balancing robot has the capacity to handle hazardous goods, transport parcels over longer distances, alleviate employees from strenuous lifting and overhead work, procure materials, and provide invaluable assistance during aircraft loading and unloading operations.
Impressively, evoBOT can achieve a top speed of 60 km/h (approximately 37 mph) and has a carrying capacity of up to 100 kg (over 220 lbs). It relies on a dynamically-stable system based on the concept of an inverse compound pendulum, eliminating the need for an external counterweight. This inherent balance allows evoBOT to navigate various surfaces, including uneven terrains.
Professor Michael ten Hompel, Managing Director of Fraunhofer IML, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating,
"Our evoBOT represents the emergence of a new generation of autonomous vehicles and robots. With its articulated arms and unique two-wheeled design, it signifies a step towards the humanoid future of robotics. The successful test at Munich Airport convincingly demonstrates the immense potential of this development. The evoBOT can serve as a valuable collaborator across a wide range of applications."
Jost Lammers, Chief Executive Officer of Munich Airport, highlighted the importance of optimizing and digitalizing handling processes in the cargo and logistics sector. Lammers welcomed the introduction of evoBOT, emphasizing its ability to streamline daily operations and enhance the overall workplace experience for employees within the cargo area.