The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML describes Emili as a genuine milestone on the path towards socially networked industry. The developers of this Ergonomic, Mobile, Interactive Load Carrier for Intralogistics believe Emili the AVG is the first machine to be capable of intuitive communication with humans. The driver sports a smart armband or other wearable to maneuver, beckon and dispatch Emili using gestures – which therefore enables the AGV to interact directly with humans in its vicinity. Alternatively, Emili can also be controlled with a smartphone, tablet or smart goggles.
And because two-way communications form a key part of any successful relationship, Emili provides its human partners with useful information in return. An energy-saving E-Ink display on the front of the AGV, which also functions as a container in its own right, shows current status and feedback to make communications with its human co-worker as natural as possible. The Fraunhofer IML deems this the basic prerequisite for human-machine communications and information exchange in the socially networked industry of the future. "It won’t be long before talking to a box becomes the absolute norm," says Prof. Michael ten Hompel, the managing director of the Fraunhofer IML. He is confident Emili has what it takes to succeed and says: "Emili is the industrial prototype for the future of socially networked industry that will see humans working together with intelligent machines just like ours."