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HANNOVER MESSE 2019, 01 - 05 April
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Artificial Intelligence

Highly automated forklift act virtually independently

ZF Friedrichshafen AG has unveiled its Innovation Forklift, a fully networked electric forklift. Its ProAI chip makes it a semi-automated industrial truck.

08 May. 2018
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Highly automated forklift can see, think, and act virtually independently (Photo: ZF Friedrichshafen AG)

The ZF Innovation Forklift is still controlled by humans, but is able to perform a large number of tasks virtually independently. The forklift features a camera and radar system that recognizes people and objects such as pallets and bars – a major bonus for the driver, in particular when reversing. This is possible thanks to the ZF ProAI processor, developed in collaboration with nVidia, that processes and interprets sensor data using deep learning technology. This enables the Innovation Forklift to automatically avoid obstructions and to come to an immediate halt in dangerous situations. Moreover, its AI can prioritize tasks, and thereby make decisions regarding the optimal sequence and route. ZF and nVidia are also already working on solutions for highly automated and autonomous driving and working.

The electrically operated forklift handles gross loads of up to 3.5 tons; its battery is designed to last an entire shift. Replacement batteries can then be used to get the forklift up and running again in no time. In addition, the forklift is also equipped with an electromechanical power steering system, which reduces energy consumption by 10%, a twin-engine series, the ZF electric rear axle steering system for forklifts, and the electric ZF single-wheel drive.

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