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How VisionNav Drives Development in Automation of Logistics——Indoor and Outdoor Case Study

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East China, Sep 30, 2022—From indoor to closed/semi-enclosed outdoors, autonomous forklifts must deal with more complex issues, such as long-distance handling efficiency, outdoor emergencies, indoor and outdoor operation process docking, etc. VisionNav Robotics adheres to the two-pronged approach of "software algorithm + hardware products." It exerts its efforts in global manufacturing logistics/warehousing logistics, which provides possibilities for intelligent logistics going from indoor to outdoor, thus helping customers achieve a full-scenario logistics upgrade.

Case Brief of a Chemical Industry

The client locates in East China, which has multiple workshops for chemical materials shuttling back and forth in between. So they need an automation solution to help them complete the automatic unloading from indoor conveyor lines, automatic loading of flatbed trailers, and automatic transfer of materials between outdoor workshops, thus improving logistics efficiency.


VNP15 Counterbalanced Stacking Forklift is in charge of the conveyor line. With a flatbed trailer to realize automatic unloading from the conveyor line and autonomous loading of the flatbed truck indoors; the VNQ60 Autonomous Tow Tractor traces designated stops in alignment with the layout of the workshop and production flow to realize the cross-workshop transfer of goods.

VNP15 Counterbalanced Stacking Forklift Unloading
VNP15 Counterbalanced Stacking Forklift Unloading


From the industrial paint workshop to the finished product warehouse: VisionNav's central control dispatching system connects to the PLC of the conveying line. When the goods arrive at the end of the conveying line, the PLC will send the position and record the goods to the central control dispatching system, issue the handling requirements, and dispatches the VNP15 Counterweight Stacker forklift goes to the corresponding drop point of the conveyor line to pick up the goods.

The VNP15 is equipped with a high-precision vehicle-mounted perception module to identify the posture of the goods on the conveyor line, thereby adjusting the body's posture, controlling the lifting height of the fork to accurately pick the goods, and transporting the goods to the temporary storage area.

VNP15 docking conveyor line
VNP15 docking conveyor line

After the central control dispatching system calls the VNQ60 tractor to drive to the stop, the VNP15 picks up the goods, transports the goods to the flatbed trailer, completes the automatic loading of the flatbed trailer, and the VNQ60 transfers the goods to the product warehouse.

VNP15 docking flatbed trailer
VNP15 docking flatbed trailer

Part of the challenge of scaling automation to multiple logistics facilities is making sure that software, robots, and people work together smoothly. Our engineer pre-plans several stops manually, sends tasks to the central control dispatching system through the tablet, dispatches the autonomous tractor to the nearest stop, completes the loading/unloading, then goes to the next workshop, and transfers material back and forth.

VNQ60 Autonomous Tow Tractor outdoor working
VNQ60 Autonomous Tow Tractor outdoor working

Pain-points Targeted

VNP15 can smoothly dock with VNQ60, making loading on the flatbed trailer easier. The parking position of VNQ60 needs to be very precise. If the position deviation is too large, it will not complete the loading motion. In addition, within the deviation range, VNP15 can recognize the posture of the flatbed trailer, thus to adjusts its vehicle posture, then transports the goods to the flatbed trailer and completes the loading process. The whole process maintains a good flow, as we projected.

The VNQ60 autonomous tractor can carry out long-distance, multi-vehicle transfer outdoors with solid communication capabilities, environmental adaptability, and obstacle avoidance capabilities. It can respond to sudden outdoor conditions at any time. Its rated towing weight is 6000kg, and it can simultaneously drag four pallets of goods.



VisionNav Robotics

VisionNav® Robotics is a leading global supplier of autonomous industrial vehicles and intralogistics automation solutions. Based on AI, Perception, Deep Learning, and Servo Control technology, VisionNav has developed 9 product series for full-stack scenarios. By now, VisionNav has served more than 30 countries and deployed 200+ projects around the globe, and reached cooperations with 50+ Fortune 500 companies, covering auto manufacturing, tire, food, petrochemical, e-commerce, 3PL, pharmaceutical, and other industries.


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