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Intelligent Container

The film about this demonstrator is here available.
The third demonstrator, the “Intelligent Container”, is based on benchmark scenarios for production and transport logistics developed in the working group “Scenarios/Modelling” and on the first demonstration scenario “Transport Logistics” developed in subproject Z2. The demonstration scenario “Intelligent Container” combines a number of new ideas and methods. This demonstration scenario was first presented to a wider audience at the report colloquium of CRC 637 which took place in January 2006.
The content, implementation, and some of the components of this demonstrator were contributed by the subprojects B3 “Mobile communication networks and models” (Görg), B4 “Knowledge management” (Herzog), B5 “Risk management” (Herzog, Schumacher) and B6 “Sensor systems” (Lang, Laur). Subproject Z2 on the one hand had the task to coordinate the collaboration, and on the other hand Z2 was actively involved in the development of the scenario and provided access to the existing infrastructure at BIBA. Z2 also developed and implemented a concept for locating freight vehicles on the basis of RFID technology. At the centre of this scenario is the model of a refrigerated container on a scale of 1:16. The intelligence of the container is based on hardware components which are coordinated and represented by the implementation of an agent platform into the container’s system and that of the transport good. The hardware components that have to interact in this case comprise the following components: (1.) an RFID reader, which oversees the loading process, (2.) a wireless sensor network, which enables the monitoring of critical freight parameters, (3.) a processor unit, which pre-processes the accumulating data, and (4.) a communication module, which enables linkage to external data networks. The complete system configures itself during the loading process.
Presentation of the “Intelligent Container” demonstrator.
At present the demonstration scenario depicts the transportation of fresh fish from Bremerhaven to Frankfurt/M. This transport process begins with entering the consignment note, which by means of software agents can be downloaded via a knowledge base at any time and place. Hence, the software agents take over the control of the transport and the transport good.
In order to demonstrate real time locating, a second model transporter, also a physical 1:16 model, is driven along a road network on the BIBA testing floor, transmitting its location data directly to the software agent via an X/Y positioning system.
As the scenario unfolds, various internal and external interferences are simulated, such as congestions on the motorway, or breakdown of communication, or outage of the refrigeration apparatus. These disturbances are identified by the intelligent container and trigger decision-making processes in and amongst the software agents. The aim is to re-establish an acceptable situation or to re-route or re-schedule the transport.
This demonstrator also enables visitors to monitor the current location of the container, the cargo’s condition, as well as the decision-making processes of the agents.
Monitor screen “Intelligent Container” demonstrator.