SATS, TUM CREATE developing robotic air cargo system
Singapore’s SATS and TUM CREATE announced that they are exploring commercialisation opportunities for the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) powered robotic air cargo system, SPEEDCARGO, to help digitalise air cargo handling and transform laborious processes for the freight industry.
The companies said the industry stands to benefit from improved productivity and time savings in addition to higher throughput and load factors. Using SPEEDCARGO, airlines would be able to optimise their cargo hold based on volume, weight, and other criteria with a click.
SPEEDCARGO is an integrated solution comprising three products – CARGO EYE, CARGO MIND and CARGO ARM – which are targeted at optimising cargo acceptance as well as cargo palletisation through intelligent Unit Load Device (ULD) planning, and automatic ULD packing respectively. The AI-powered operating system enables data connectivity for end-to-end optimisation, and improves safety and security across cargo operations.
SATS is contributing operational know-how and expertise along with its premises at SATS Airfreight Terminal as a test-bed to accelerate cargo handling in a sustainable and secure manner. TUMCREATE has been stationed on site, working closely with SATS during the prototype development phase and for ongoing trials.
SATS and TUMCREATE say they have achieved a 99.99 percent accuracy rate for the dimensioning of accepted cargo during trials of CARGO EYE. CARGO EYE produces a digital fingerprint for incoming cargo in real-time using an advanced 3D camera system for better pallet optimisation. SATS and TUMCREATE are concurrently making progressive enhancements to CARGO MIND and CARGO ARM with the aim of commercialising each product in phases.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) facilitated the industry collaboration with its second Aviation Challenge2, where TUMCREATE was awarded S$1.9 million for SPEEDCARGO’s prototype development over two years. The project has received S$4 million in funding from the National Research Foundation Singapore’s (NRF’s) Central Gap Fund, which supports public research performers in the translation of research outcomes into useful products, processes, and services that generate economic and societal benefits.