MIT modifies Toyota lift truck for unmanned operation

  • 21-Jul-2010 02:11 EDT
Toyota Material Handling lift truck.jpg

The MIT-developed prototype unmanned robotic Toyota 8-Series lift truck is capable of locating, lifting, moving, and placing palletized supplies within an existing outdoor supply depot. (Image by Jason Dorfman, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab)

The U.S. Army Logistics Innovation Agency (LIA) in June hosted demonstrations at Fort Lee (Virginia) of an MIT-developed prototype unmanned robotic lift truck from Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. capable of locating, lifting, moving, and placing palletized supplies within an existing outdoor supply depot. The robotics technology was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), BAE Systems, and Lincoln Laboratory in collaboration with the LIA, the Combined Arms Support Command Sustainment Battle Lab, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of Defense Research and Engineering. The 3000-lb (1360-kg) capacity, internal-combustion Toyota 8-Series lift truck was modified by researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory to perform embodied speech and gesture understanding; shape estimation (from laser range scanner data); machine vision (from camera data); motion estimation (from GPS, inertial data, and wheel odometry encoders); and autonomous mobility and pallet manipulation. Proprietary CAN bus protocols, provided by Toyota’s 8-Series product engineering team, enabled the MIT team to connect its algorithms directly to the lift truck’s manual and electrical controls. The demo illustrated capabilities realized during the first two years of R&D on the project.

HTML for Linking to Page
Page URL
Rate It
2.00 Avg. Rating

Read More Articles On

Autonomous driving and machine system automation continue to increase productivity and convenience in farm production.
John Deere recently updated the 135G and 245G LC reduced-tail-swing excavators with new emissions equipment and standard features including a rearview camera and auxiliary hydraulics with proportional control.
The Boston-based startup believes the marine domain is even better suited for autonomous systems than aerospace, automotive and other off-highway sectors. The company is currently testing its technology on commercial vessels in Boston Harbor.
Automation is one of three main technology areas—along with connectivity and alternative drivelines and fuels—that Volvo Construction Equipment is devoting significant R&D resources to further develop. The company recently demonstrated a prototype autonomous wheel loader and articulated hauler working together.

Related Items

Technical Paper / Journal Article
Technical Paper / Journal Article