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Dell EMC Announce Sponsorship of the 2017 DHL Robotics Challenge

Dell EMC Announce Sponsorship of the 2017 DHL Robotics Challenge

Dell EMC announced that they are customer sponsor of the 2017 DHL Robotics Challenge. Inventors, creators and visionaries are being called on to help manage the ever-increasing volume of material in DHL’s warehouses and distribution centres through the DHL Robotics Challenge.

This year, the 2017 DHL Robotics Challenge requires inventors to design a prototype of a mobile piece-picking robot with an arm that can navigate traditional warehouse shelves, picking up items and placing them into an order tote. The prototype must be able to traverse a typical warehouse environment at walking speed while picking items from shelves and manoeuvring these items into a packaging area. The aim of this challenge is to save warehouse workers the tiresome task of walking and manually pushing a trolley through the aisles.

The 2017 DHL Robotics Challenge is open to start-ups, researchers, and university students who can develop an innovative robotic device capable of autonomous mobility and item picking in a typical warehouse environment.


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Applications to enter the 2017 DHL Robotics Challenge close at 5 pm on 15th September. Applicants are being asked to submit a document (500 words maximum) and video content of up to 3 minutes in length. Both the document and video should outline the problem, and explain the solution. Once ideas have been submitted, all entries go through a pre-selection process based on their originality, functionality, perceived commercial feasibility, aesthetics and potential to solve the problem outlined.

The winner of the 2017 DHL Robotics Challenge is to be announced in December 2017 with an opportunity to Win €15,000 to Develop Their Robot.

For each challenge, three finalists will be chosen by a panel of logistics experts and will be evaluated based on their performance and ability to autonomously navigate and pick items from shelves in a simulated warehouse environment. After the demonstration, there will be an audience live-voting session; the entry with the most votes will be awarded as the winner of the DHL Innovation Challenge.

Timmy O’Dwyer, Vice President, Global Parts Operations and Limerick Site Leader for Dell EMC said: “Dell EMC is delighted to be supporting DHL on this excellent initiative which invites all kind of innovative minds to get involved and pitch their unique creations. The exciting part of this challenge is that you not only get to be in with a chance of showcasing your work and winning some great prizes, but you also have the power to shape the way DHL might operate its warehouse and distribution centre systems in the future. Recently Dell EMC partnered with the Institute for the Future in California to explore how emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Robotics to name a few – will shape our world in 2030. The report shows that, by then, we will become increasingly reliant on machines as the pace of innovation accelerates. Thanks to emerging technologies, from data analytics to enhanced processing power, we will enter the ‘next era of human-machine partnerships’. We’ve a lot of work to do for our society to become future ready in the years leading up to 2030 but by supporting initiatives like this Robotics challenge we want to highlight some of the opportunities that exist when humans and machines work side by side.”

“As a company, we are lucky that we get to embrace the latest technologies daily in our jobs and deliver solutions for our customers to successfully digitally transform. We always try to find ways to give others this opportunity and through this partnership with DHL we’re delighted to be offering innovators the chance to showcase their amazing work. We know there is so much creative talent out there and we can’t wait to see the extent of it.”
Denis Niezgoda, Robotics Accelerator Program Lead, DHL said: “This year’s Robotics Challenge is a really interesting one and to have a company like Dell EMC on board as a customer sponsor is really exciting. Our aim is to get as many start-ups and inventors involved as possible. We know that Dell EMC runs various programmes to help different kinds of tech minds reach their potential and we’re really looking forward to seeing the entries and encourage all innovators to get thinking!”

For more information and to participate, click here

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