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DHL calls for robotics and logistics innovations

Nayela Deeba | May 11, 2017
To enter the Innovation Challenge, participants must submit a written document and video explaining their idea for either challenge by this September.


DHL is calling all students, startups and investors to submit their robotics and logistics innovations for its Innovation Challenge, which will be held on 16 November 2017.

For the robotics challenge, participants will be required to develop a prototype of a mobile robot that can navigate through rack systems at warehouses and automatically drop items into a cart. The robot should also be able to walk briskly and bring fully loaded carts to the packing area.

"We estimate that the implementation of robotics will be the norm in the industry within less than five years. Their application will facilitate the order picking process and relieve warehouse staff from carrying heavy weight and manually pushing trolleys through the rack systems. At DHL, we encourage concepts that support employees in daily operations and unburden them from physical strain," said Matthias Heutger, Senior Vice President Strategy, Marketing & Innovation, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation.

The second challenge will require participants to come up with a solution for logistical problems often faced by stakeholders, businesses and the society. Participants should rely on shared economic business model and conventional concepts of assets ownership while developing the product/solution. The submitted product/solution should be effective enough to minimise the problem.

"Sharing economy models are best known for hospitality and mobility. As digital technology continues to drive down transaction costs and increase transparency, though, we believe that there is virtually no limit to what these models can be applied to. We aim to create a shared value, fully utilising resources to turn logistics assets into sustainable, fair and potentially profitable services for consumers and businesses," said Markus Kückelhaus, Vice President Innovation & Trend Research, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation.

To enter the competition, participants must submit a written document and video explaining their idea for either challenge at by this September.

All entries will be reviewed by senior executive from DHL during a pre-selection process. After which, three finalists from each challenge will be chosen based on functionality, aesthetics and potential to solve the given problem.

The finalists will present their solutions in front of 180 supply chain professionals during the competition day. Winners will be selected through a live-voting process.

The top two winners will receive prize money, and  have their solutions displayed at DHL Innovation Centre in Germany and Singapore.  They will also be given opportunities to develop solutions with DHL. 


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