Consultancy firm Prime Competence has introduced a new concept for postal sorting operations, which it refers to as ‘sorting without a sorter’, where autonomous unmanned vehicles identify, assess and physically sort parcels and packets into their dispatch location. Prime Competence will now partner with a major postal organization to build a proof-of-concept model.
Instead of using a traditional ‘heavy-metal’ sorting system, the Prime Competence solution will use an army of autonomous unmanned vehicles and an overall control system that integrates flexible sorting routines and technologies such as ‘swarming algorithms’ that allow the vehicles to cooperate in close proximity to each other without colliding.
The algorithm software is just one of several technologies being developed by a consortium of firms, charged with making Prime Competence’s autonomous sorting concept a reality. Other significant factors include hardware such as ground and air-based UxVs (unmanned vehicles), navigation and mapping technology, advanced sorting software, scalable cloud-based software platforms, reliable wide-area data communications, and battery technology.
Prime Competence works with posts, logistics companies and relevant technology partners to research the potential of emerging technologies and strategies. Posts interested in pursuing their own pilot program are invited to contact Bernd van Dijk, program manager at Prime Competence.
June 15, 2016