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Using smartphones, AI to improve warehouse operations

23 July, 2013

Cutting-edge research at RMIT University will provide cheaper and more efficient warehouse operations for small and medium enterprises.

The government-funded research project combines smartphone technology with the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques

Backed by a $500,000 grant from the Victorian government's Department of Business and Innovation Digital Futures Fund, the two-year project is the brainchild of Dr Andy Song, from RMIT's School of Computer Science and Information Technology.

"This project will apply AI and use some advanced data mining and dynamic optimisation techniques to reduce the cost of daily warehouse operations, to reduce human error and to streamline the operation process," Dr Song said.

"We aim to provide a cost-effective, intelligent solution for warehouse management, especially for SMEs, to improve the productivity of warehouse operations with the assistance of smartphone technology."

The RMIT team will collaborate with a range of partner organisations including CSIRO, Shiny Pty Ltd, Federation Logistics, Shiny Embroidery and the Australasian Production and Inventory Control Society.

"This is synergy between real world business needs and the latest ICT technology," Dr Song said.

"It addresses the specific needs of Australian SMEs, who can't usually afford expensive enterprise solutions.

"An advanced but cost-effective solution, which can increase productivity and reduce running costs, would be highly desirable especially in this tough economic environment."

While delighted that the Intelligent Warehouse Management with Smartphones project was now underway, Dr Song said he was especially excited about the potentially far-reaching applications for the technology being developed.

"It's so exciting to be able to contribute to the growth in smart technologies and to showcase how AI solutions can benefit Australian industry," he said.

"Hopefully, we'll develop an effective warehouse management solution that can benefit many SMEs, both in Australia and overseas."

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