Secure and Reliable Operations through Digital Logistics

Research and Development in Material Handling Engineering and Systems

Equipment Localization System Delivers Real-time Process Data


Marker-based Local Positioning System (MarLo)

MarLO® marker-based local positioning system developed by the Fraunhofer IFF allows near-real time, event-based localization of objects on industrial premises, is highly scalable and integrate existing infrastructures. Its operation makes it especially suited for dynamically changing storage and retrieval environments.

The system uses video cameras usually installed on the ceiling of buildings to determine the positioning coordinates of mobile objects (e.g. industrial trucks). Mobile objects are identified and localized using, for instance, unique fiducials mounted visibly on vehicle roofs, which image analysis algorithms automatically recognize from camera images. Using the recording camera’s known position, MarLO® computes the position (x,y) and alignment of the fiducials. The position (x,y) and computed alignment of industrial trucks is used to determine the position of retrieved or stored items precisely. MarLO® forwards the determined position to any interface desired, e.g. inventory management software.

Relatively simple camera systems (standard surveillance cameras) attain positioning accuracies in logistics infrastructures of ± 0.2 m in less than two seconds. The alignment angle is determined precisely to 1°. Depending on the application, the system can also be combined with and supplement other positioning systems.

The Advantages of MarLO® at a Glance

  • It localizes equipment, load carriers and items in internal logistics.
  • It localizes items with an accuracy ± 0.2 m in less than two seconds.
  • It builds upon existing video surveillance infrastructures.
  • It can be integrated in existing management systems and software.
  • It costs less than radio-based systems in typical metal-processing units.
  • Costs for localized objects are minimal.
  • It automatically documents process statuses to reduce error rates.
  • It delivers real-time data for the approval of processes.