Christopher Parlitz and Jörg Heckel with the IFOY award
Christopher Parlitz and Jörg Heckel with the IFOY award

IFOY Award for our Locator

Laser localization software awarded in the category “Intralogistics Software”

“The IFOY AWARD in the category “Intralogistics Software” goes to – the Locator from Bosch Rexroth.” These words caused great excitement among the Locator team. The whole team had gotten together to watch the virtual awards ceremony on July 13. We are very proud of this success, as the IFOY AWARD is a highly regarded award under the patronage of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. It is sponsored by the VDMA Materials Handling and Intralogistics Sector Association.

The International Intralogistics and Forklift Truck of the Year Award, in short IFOY AWARD, recognizes the best intralogistics products and solutions of the year. The winners are selected in a multi-step process by an international expert jury of acclaimed specialist journalists. In advance, they assess test protocols from independent experts and the results of the IFOY innovation check for market relevance, customer use, manner of execution and level of innovativeness conducted by renowned scientists. Among the finalists, the 27-member jury selects the winners for the 13 categories. Our Locator, a software component for the reliable positioning and orientation of mobile robots, was able to convince in the „Intralogistics Software“ category. Using a laser sensor, it automatically creates a dynamic map, thus creating a basis for autonomous driving in intralogistics and production environments.

IFOY locator award icon

Anita Würmser, Executive Chairperson of the Jury of the IFOY Award, describes the initial situation: “The systems available on the market to date do require considerable adaptation and calibration effort in practice and require expert knowledge. Bosch Rexroth has anticipated this engineering work for many applications and environmental factors and integrated the adaptation functions into the software. The innovation thus lies in the tailoring and design of the product, which is specifically geared to current market requirements.”

Outstanding usability

We gladly accept this praise, as it goes right to the heart of our solution. The Locator significantly reduces the effort for introducing mobile robots. Previously, this was always a complex project. The relevant areas had to be equipped with markers, reflectors or mirrors. Then, specialists had to program the paths for commissioning. The Locator significantly reduces these efforts, and no expert knowledge is required for the setup – which was also confirmed by the independent testers. Operators can commission the vehicle in just a few steps and teach it with its surrounding in a one-off orientation drive. The Locator maps out its environment using a laser scanner. The software creates a map, saves it internally or on a server to share it with the rest of the fleet. Afterwards the immediate localization without prior knowledge is given.

The development team surrounding Christopher Parlitz has also made sure that the Locator fits perfectly into the controls of vehicles of all sizes and types: from dollies to forklifts, from milk runs to mobile robots. Thanks to this one-for-all approach, manufacturers can uniformly equip all their models and thereby significantly reduce production costs. By the way, the Locator can be used in a wide range of industries and application areas.

We thank the IFOY organization and our entire Rexroth team.

Jörg Heckel, Project Director Intralogistics Robotics, Bosch Rexroth AG