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The increase in the production of cost-effective unmanned aerial vehicles ('UAVs' or 'drones') opens up new opportunities for process optimization in industrial environments. This. InteGreatDronesproject focuses on the use of drone swarms for data collection in dynamic inland ports, addressing challenges arising from changing cargo types and stakeholder interactions.

The project's goal is to create a robust foundation for harnessing digitalization potential, considering the specific requirements of inland terminals. InteGreatDrones aims to enable comprehensive process and activity monitoring in inland terminals without relying on expensive fixed infrastructures.

The approach involves using an autonomous drone fleet to complement existing infrastructure and continuously capture image data, providing insights into all activities on the terminal grounds. To preserve privacy, data is locally pre-processed and anonymized. The drone system is integrated with a centralized middleware for data processing and utilization, linking drone and existing systems to ensure comprehensive integration.

Terminal-specific applications like a digital twin, route optimization, inventory management, and predictive maintenance will be implemented, adding significant economic value for terminal operators. These applications allow making operational and strategic decisions based on solid and up-to-date data.

The project, coordinated by Sächsische Binnenhäfen Oberelbe GmbH, runs from May 2023 to April 2026 and involves partners such as Syntax Systems GmbH & Co. KG, University of Hamburg (Areas: Distributed Operating Systems and Computer Vision), and Technical University of Hamburg - Institute for Maritime Logistics.

The InteGreatDrones project is supported by the Project Sponsorship for Innovative Port Technologies (IHatec) and the German Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport (BMDV).