Container Unloading

Client: COPAL

Copal Handling Systems develops and manufactures container-unloading and palletizing systems. Controllab was asked to analyse the CopalC2 robot and improve the motion control of this robot to increase its speed of operation.


Manual loading and unloading of containers is labour intensive and subject to ever stricter regulations related to lifting weight. Therefore Copal has developed the semi-automatic C2 robot. The C2 robot is hand operated and allows you to unload without heavy physical work. The C2 robot is applied successfully in many factories. Manual operation is monotonous work. A survey amongst customers showed that there is a strong business case for an automated C2 robot. Therefore Copal started a project to automate the C2 robot.


Controllab has created a simulation model of the C2 robot to analyse the movements that are required to pick up loads. The model contains all of the physics of the robot (arms, gearboxes, motors) and the motion control. The model was coupled to a VR environment, to show the robot action during a simulation.


The first simulations showed that the motion was not optimal. The robot arms were moving in such a way that the individual motors were overloaded. An improved motion control was implemented in the model. Numerous simulations were carried out to show that a significant increase of the robot speed could be obtained.