Automated Shipboard Build-up of Customized Pallet Loads
Profile last edited on: 11/1/2018

Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Principal Investigator
Edmond Dougherty
Activity Indicator

Company Information

Ablaze Development Corporation

771 East Lancaster Avenue 2nd floor
Villanova, PA 19085
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   05
County:   Montgomery

Phase I

Phase I year
Phase I Amount
An agile, modular robotic system for the automated shipboard build-up of customized pallet loads is proposed. The system, dubbed ASAP (At Sea Automated Palletizer), will employ robotics, fuzzy logic, machine vision, load planning software, and a unique cable-based 6 degree of freedom (DOF) Stewart platform as the core mechanism. The concept will allow ASAP to be installed in existing package consolidation areas on ship with very little modification to the existing area.

ASAP can be used in both military and commercial warehouses, large and small. The ASAP concept will be shown to have major advantages over the existing multi-joint palletizing robots and COTS gantry palletizers in that: It can reach and exceed the productivity goals with minimal personnel involvement; it is easy to maintain, understand and operate; it can cover any size or shape, including very large volumes as needed to provide the throughput; it can be easily installed in a variety of configurations; installation and operation will have minimal effect on the ships structure; it can operate in rough seas; it can operate even in the harshest of environmental conditions; it is lightweight, easy to maintain, straightforward to install; and when, not in use, its operating space can be used for other purposes. In addition to the ability to pick, place and transport a wide variety of package types in order to build custom one-of-a-kind pallet loads, the system will also include: intelligent, pallet planning software able to interface with virtually any warehousing system; a machine vision system able to identify the location, orientation, size, and shape of various packages, including pallets, cartons, drums, cans, and bags; the ability to employ bar codes and RFID tag readers; the ability to unband, unwrap, and interface with COTS equipment to wrap and band; and ASAP will employ agile and/or automatically interchangeable end effectors able to pick and place virtually any package.

six degree of freedom, six degree of freedom, Materials Handling, Stewart Platform, pallet, Fuzzy Logic, Machine vision

Phase II

Phase II year
Phase II Amount