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Robotic Forklifts the Latest in Forklift Safety

Robotic forklifts could be the next big thing in forklift safety.

The U.S. Army recently tested unmanned robotic forklifts that could be used in high-risk environments. These robotic forklifts can locate, lift, move and place palletized supplies in an outdoor depot, according to DC Velocity magazine.

The demonstration was held in June by the U.S. Army Logistics Innovation Agency at Fort Lee in Virginia. The robotic forklift was a modified internal combustion Toyota 8-Series lift truck. The crowd was able to see its safety features and sensor capabilities. The robotic forklift can respond to human voice commands and gestures.

The robotic forklift took more than two years of research and development to be completed. The project was a collaborative effort between the scientists and engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), BAE Systems, and Lincoln Laboratory with the LIA, the Combined Arms Support Command Sustainment Battle Lab, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of Defense Research and Engineering.

"Robotic forklifts have the potential to protect both military and civilian personnel working in high-risk environments, such as hazardous material storage facilities," said Brett Wood, president of TMHU, in a statement.