Robot-enabled execution system for perishables auction logistics

Xiang T.R. Kong, Ray Y. Zhong, Gangyan Xu, George Q. Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose a concept of cloud auction robot (CAR) and its execution platform for transforming perishable food supply chain management. A new paradigm of goods-to-person auction execution model is proposed based on CARs. This paradigm can shift the management of traditional manual working to automated execution with great space and time saving. A scalable CAR-enabled execution system (CARES) is presented to manage logistics workflows, tasks and behavior of CAR-Agents in handling the real-time events and associated data. 

Design/methodology/approach – An Internet of Things enabled auction environment is designed. The robot is used to pick up and deliver the auction products and commends are given to the robot in real-time. CARES architecture is proposed while integrating three core services from auction workflow management, auction task management, to auction execution control. A system prototype was developed to show its execution through physical emulations and experiments. 

Findings – The CARES could well schedule the tasks for each robot to minimize their waiting time. The total execution time is reduced by 33 percent on average. Space utilization for each auction studio is improved by about 50 percent per day.

 Originality/value – The CAR-enabled execution model and system is simulated and verified in a ubiquitous auction environment so as to upgrade the perishable food supply chain management into a new level which is automated and real-time. The proposed system is flexible to cope with different auction scenarios, such as different auction mechanisms and processes, with high reconfigurability and scalability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1954-1971
Number of pages18
JournalIndustrial Management and Data Systems
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Multi-agent
  • Perishables auction logistics
  • Robot-enabled execution system
  • Supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Industrial relations
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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