Texas State Researchers Awarded Grant from Toyota

Drs. Francis Mendez and David Wierschem of the Department of Computer Information Systems and Quantitative methods, along with four faculty from the Ingram School of Engineering, were selected for funding as part of the Toyota Material Handling North America 2019 University Research Program. The winning proposal, “Using Industry 4.0Digital Twins to Model Human Labor in Smart Material Handling Systems,” will contribute concepts that are important for the future of human material handling by working to development a simulation process referred to as a “digital twin.”

Toyota will fund approximately $200,000 to support research for nine months allowing the team to gather data and develop the computer simulation program using a state-of-the-art research labin Texas State’s Ingram Hall.

Industry 4.0 refers to the current industrial revolution involving automation and data exchange. It incorporates newer technologies such as the Internet of Things, the Internet of Systems and artificial intelligence. The mission of this project is to advance material handling research by designing and developing a modeling framework to connect human operators with smart material handling systems. The ultimate objectives include: reducing the need for repetitive activities; illustrating how technology can help workers improve their safety and ameliorating the expected shortage of labor in Industry 4.0.

See related news feature “Reducing Workplace Injuries Through Motion Sensors.”