Prize winning forklift designed by students from Umeå Institute of Design (UID)

A group of three students from the master's program in transportation design was awarded with the 3rd prize in Toyota Logistics Design Competition 2016, for their forklift "Toyota KAMU"

The goal for Toyota Material Handling Europe is to provide superior transportation solutions. For the second time they launched a Logistic Design Competition. The brief this time was 'Forklifts. Like you've never seen them before' and over 550 people participated.

Toyota competiton

Viljami Räisänen, Antti Laukkanen and Sami Laiho

"We were asked to revamp or revolutionize the look and function of Toyota forklifts" says Antti Laukkanen, one of the three students from UID "Our starting point in the design process was to decrease working phases and make logistics more efficient. Listing down the most common problems in warehouse working we noticed one relevant problem, which could be solved in really simple way" he continues "The most used tool in warehouses or factories are usually small size pallet jacks and bigger counter balanced trucks, which are used in different types of tasks. We decided to combine these two tools as one"

The Toyota KAMU is a modular hybrid forklift truck that makes working easier and efficient. By combining a small autonomous unit with a bigger main forklift truck they made it able for the user to decrease working phases and ease working in tight spaces. The smaller unit of the truck can operate autonomously and the main unit is for tasks that are more advanced.

"Eventually these units work as one, efficiently combining humans and automation." The group member Viljami Räisänen describes "Our concept pays attention to ergonomics and safety. With a new kind of working position we wanted to emphasize on healthy and successful working environment"

"The design is based on functionality. We placed the features we wanted to the concept and after that we built a body around it. Still we wanted to keep a basic structure of a counter balanced forklift truck to express the combination of two different types of forklift truck" says Sami Laiho the third member of the group.

The Design Award Ceremony was held in Hannover as a part of CeMAT pre-press event, where Toyota presented their upcoming innovations and new products, and Toyota described the Toyota KAMU with following sentence: 

"Together they designed the Toyota KAMU, which portrays a perfect harmony between man and machine and fits very well into the Toyota way of thinking".

Read mote about the competition at the website:

Toyota forklift

The Toyota KAMU can collect a pallet from a truck container without using a conventional pallet jack or driving the forklift truck inside the container.