IAI Introduces an Innovative Robotic Shipping Container Storage & Handling System
July 29, 2015– Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is introducing the Robotic Container Management & Storage System (RCMS), an innovative autonomous solution for container management and storage in ports.
The RCMS is a revolutionary concept that offers a flexible and effective solution for minimizing storage operations. Containers are mounted on low-cost robotic carts that move on robotic elevators. The robotic carts and elevators increase throughput and enable optimal use of all available storage areas.
An advanced, state-of-the-art command and control center using algorithms developed by IAI provides constant, autonomous supervision augmented by human operators. IAI recently received a contract from Horizon 2020, the European Union’s largest research and innovation program, to provide technological leadership for a consortium of ten companies.
IAI is focusing on converting defense systems and applications to commercial product lines. The RCMS system is an addition to IAI’s growing line of robotic products that includes TaxiBot – a semi-robotic pilot-controlled vehicle; and the prototype for the Skytran system- a high traffic transportation system based on magnetic technology paragliding.
Ran Braier, head of Commercial Robotics at IAI, said: “This revolutionary system will change the perception of transportation and storage methods used around the world. The RCMS is a sustainable and environmentally responsible system which is energy efficient and reduces greenhouse emissions. We look forward to additional cooperation projects and new opportunities for use of robotics in ports.”
With worldwide container traffic expecting an annual increase of 4% by 2030, ports are facing challenges of an increasing number of containers and limited space, coupled with limited manpower and machinery that do not meet the market demand. The RCMS offers increased operational efficiency and significant cost savings. It can reduce up to 50% of the volume at a port and also lessens the need to drain the sea during port construction, the cost of which is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars. Containers can be loaded and unloaded 1.5 times faster than they are currently. This system has the option of cancelling the shuffling (or rearrangement) of the containers, which reduces profits and hinders the loading and unloading process.