IROS 2018, Madrid, Spain

Robotics for logistics in warehouses and environments shared with humans

Full day Workshop, Friday October 5, 2018


The workshop is organized by the topic group on Robotics for Logistics and Transport of euRobotics AISBL and by following European Union’s H2020 projects:

with the support of other running H2020 projects addressing research and technological issues that are closely related to logistics: Co4RobotsSciRoc.

  ILIAD logo



Topics of interest



Luigi Villani
Università di Napoli Federico II
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Jesús Julián Alfonso De la Riva
ITAINNOVA/Instituto Tecnológico de Aragón, Spain
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Martin Magnusson
Örebro University, Sweden
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Erwin Prassler
Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Germany
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David Puljiz
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, IAR-IPR, Germany
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The world of logistics and distribution is a strongly growing sector for suppliers of robot technologies and a field full of interesting challenges for robotics research. Robots today are able to perceive, recognize, pick and manipulate a wide variety of objects. They are able to navigate and move things in less and less structured environments. They can collaborate with human operators in shared workspaces, interacting safely with employees and customers. These advances in robotic technologies, together with their relatively low costs, make robotic solutions appealing not only for all the components of the logistics supply chain, including warehouses, distribution centers, sorting centers, last-mile delivery, but also for intra-logistic operations in retail stores, care facilities, and hospitals.

The European Union’s H2020 research and innovation program funded a number of projects related to robotics for logistics in warehouses and environments shared with humans. Four of them (ILIAD, REFILLS, RpPod, SafeLog), involving research institutions, logistic companies, robot manufacturers, end-users from different European countries, are committed to the workshop organization.

The project ILIAD: Intra-Logistics with Integrated Automatic Deployment for safe and scalable fleets in shared spaces ( is aimed at developing robotic solutions for intra-logistic services that can easily integrate with current warehouse facilities. The focus is on self-deploying fleets of heterogeneous robots, on-line self-optimizing fleet management, mobile manipulation, efficient and safe operation in an environment shared with humans.

The project REFILLS: Robotics Enabling Fully‐Integrated Logistics Lines for Supermarkets ( aims at improving logistics in a supermarket thanks to mobile robotic systems in close and smart collaboration with humans, addressing the main in-store logistics processes for retail shops: shelf monitoring, store delivery and pre-sorting, smart shelf refilling.

The project RoPod: Ultra-flat, ultra-flexible, cost-effective robotic pods for handling legacy in logistics ( is aimed at developing and implementing a disruptive concept for AGVs that lowers the existing barriers in logistics by offering automated and semi-automated indoor transportation of goods, without imposing disruptive changes in existing logistic solutions. Equal emphasis is put on cost-effective as well as on human-friendly automation of logistic tasks, making the solution suitable for environments like hospitals and care facilities.

The project SafeLog: Safe human-robot interaction in logistic applications for highly flexible warehouses ( proposes the conception and implementation of a Large-scale flexible warehouse system which enables a safe and efficient collaboration of human and robots in the same area and at the same time. There are three main components being developed to achieve this vision. The first is the development of a safety-certifiable safety vest that prevents robots from coming into the proximity of the human worker, thus preventing accidents. The second is a fast heterogeneous path planner that can quickly plan and re-plan routes with constraints for different types of agents (AGVs, humans, autonomous forklifts etc.). Finally, an AR-based worker support system is developed for picking, maintenance, and navigation assistance.

Starting from the research and technological issues of the above projects, that will be reported by the protagonists, this workshop intends to share knowledge about technological opportunities and challenges regarding robotics for logistics. The aim is to bring together and confront the experience of researchers, end users, logistics and robotics companies working on novel approaches, through a mixture of talks from invited speakers, an interactive poster session and a round-table discussion.



The topics of interest, related to robotics for logistics, will include but not limited to the following:

  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • Robotic systems in logistics
  • Inventory management
  • Planning, scheduling, and coordination of heterogeneous human-robot fleets
  • Path planning for multiple mobile robots or agents
  • Software, middleware and programming environments
  • Perception for grasping and manipulation
  • Reactive and sensor-based planning
  • Sensor-based control
  • Gripper and other end-effectors
  • Computer vision for transportation
  • Semantic scene understanding
  • Object detection, segmentation, and categorization
  • Human factors and human-in-the-loop
  • Human detection and tracking and intention recognition
  • Robot safety
  • Safe human-robot interaction/collaboration in robot warehouses
  • Human-centered robotics in warehouses
  • Human-centered automation
  • Model learning for control
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality
  • Robot design for logistics
  • Ethics of human-robot collaboration in logistic warehouses



The program can be subject to changes.

October 5, 2018

09:00-09:10 | Welcome and introduction 
09:10-09:20 | ILIAD in a nutshell - Achim Lilienthal, Örebro University, Sweden
09:20-09:30 | SAFELOG in a nutshell - Björn Hein, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
09:30-09:40 | REFILLS in a nutshell - Bruno Siciliano, Università di Napoli Federico II, Italy 
09:40-09:50 | ROPOD in a nutshell - Erwin Prassler, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Germany
Part I - Human-robot collaboration in logistics
09:50-10:10 | Using 50 years of injury research for making human-friendly robots - Sami Haddadin, Technical University of Munich, Germany 
10:10-10:30 | Safe and efficient collaborative fleets of autonomous vehicles in shared warehouses - Achim Lilienthal, Örebro University, Sweden
10:30-10:50 | Heterogeneous fleet planning with humans - Miroslav Kulich, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic
10:50-11:00 | Poster highlights
11:00-11:30 | Coffee break & interactive poster session
11:30-11:50 | Safety vest and human localization for human-robot collaboration - Igor Vitas, University of Zagreb, Croatia
11:50-12:10 | Augmented reality and intention recognition in robotic warehouses - David Puljiz, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
12:10-12:30 | Benchmarking and benchmarking competitions for robotics in warehouses and environments shared with humans - Gerhard Kraetzschmar, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
12:30-12:50 | Selected contribution
12:50-13:10 | Selected contribution
13:10-13:30 | Selected contribution
13:30-14:30 | Lunch break
Part II - Robotics applications in logistics
14:30-14:50 | Pick and place in large-scale fulfilment center automation - Sebastian Höfer, Amazon Research, Germany
14:50-15:10 | Modular and flexible: the features that logistics robots must have - Jordi Pages, PAL Robotics, Spain
15:10-15:30 | Semantic store maps: Knowledge representation and reasoning for large-scale retail environments - Georg Bartels, Universität Bremen, Germany
15:30-15:50 | Learning of perceptual models of retail products using photo-realistic simulations of supermarkets - Michael Beetz, Universität Bremen, Germany
15:50-16:10 | Tactile finger tip sensors for shelf replenishment in retail stores: Design, control, and application - Ciro Natale, Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy
16:10-16:30 | Poster highlights
16:30-17:00 | Coffee break & interactive poster session
17:00-17:20 | Soft robotic solutions for warehouse applications: from bin picking to palletizing - Lucia Pallottino, Università di Pisa, Italy
17:20-17:40 | A depalletizing system for heterogeneous and unstructured pallets - Vincenzo Lippiello, Università di Napoli Federico II, Italy
17:40-18:00 | Selected contribution
18:00-18:20 | Selected contribution
18:20-19:00 | Round table, wrap-up session and conclusion





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PRISMA Lab - Via Claudio 21, 80125 Napoli, Italy

COORDINATOR: Prof. Bruno Siciliano [bruno (dot) siciliano (at) unina (dot) it]