DB SCHENKER is proud to be a strategic and logistics partner with August Robotics– a world-leading commercial autonomous robotics company. Their “Lionel” floor marking robot is setting new standards in accuracy and speed for the Exhibitions and fair industry. This partnership is a case study in the power of cross-industry collaboration and the critical support DB SCHENKER can offer to startups making an international impact.

DB SCHENKER and August Robotics: a strategic partnership

The partnership began in 2018 with a mutual interest in innovating the processes of Exhibitions and Fair building. At the time, August Robotics was still deep into the process of developing its first prototype of Lionel. Matthias Dornscheidt, VP Global Fairs, Events and Special Logistics at DB SCHENKER, immediately realized the value Lionel would deliver to the industry and sought to endorse the project. Six months later, the first version of Lionel was launched and was quickly embraced by the industry.

Over the next five years of collaboration, DB SCHENKER offered generous logistics support, access to its industry networks, and strategic advice. These have been invaluable in helping the scrappy startup to rapidly mature and develop Lionel into the industry’s leading automated floor marking solution.

When we found out about August Robotics’ plan for an automated floor marking robot, we immediately felt like this was an idea we’d like to support. It was a natural partnership for us since we’ve been serving the Exhibitions industry for decades and we’re big supporters of innovation and technological advancement.

Matthias Dornscheidt
VP Global Fairs, Events and Special Logistics | DB SCHENKER

The Rise of Automation in Floor Marking

Floor marking is the crucial first step in any exhibition build and involves the precise marking of every booth, piece of furniture, and other structures on the floor. Any mistake at this stage will compound quickly and cause delays at a later stage in the build. Unfortunately, floor marking is also very physically demanding and laborious.
When done manually, people need to painstakingly mark out booth positions and layouts, often enduring physical strain and diminishing accuracy over time.

Lionel: Revolutionizing Floor Marking

The vision behind Lionel is simple but ambitious – Lionel is designed to manage the entire floor marking process from start to finish. Any operator can upload the floor plan of a show to Lionel, who will then move around the hall independently to paint the full layout.

The benefits of Lionel are manifold. Lionel drastically reduces marking time to just a few hours allowing venues and contractors to book more work and focus on building exceptional exhibitions. Its autonomous operation allows marking to occur at any time including overnight. And with growing industry expectations of sustainable operations and carbon neutrality, Lionel does its part by eliminating material waste and using biodegradable, water-soluble paint.

Looking Ahead: Expanding Horizons

Having revolutionized floor marking in the exhibition industry, August Robotics is now setting its sights on new frontiers. With its proven track record of innovation and excellence, Lionel is poised to make waves in the construction sector, tackling the unique challenges of marking construction layouts in rougher environments.

From the beginning, Matthias and the team at DB SCHENKER believed in our vision for Lionel. Their partnership has been invaluable as we’ve progressed from a prototype to a globally recognized solution. Not only have they supported our growth as logistics partners by delivering over 40 robots in 15 shipments in 2023, but they continue to be a thought partner as Lionel works to automate floor marking in exhibitions and other industries. We look forward to another 5 years of partnership as we continue to deliver automation to customers globally.

Vuyo Makhuvha
CMO August Robotics

The support of August Robotics by DB SCHENKER exemplifies its broader commitment to fostering innovation and empowering startups. As a global logistics leader, DB SCHENKER recognizes the impact emerging technologies can have on entire industries. Through active partnerships like the one with August Robotics, DB SCHENKER is helping bring revolutionary solutions to market. The willingness to engage innovative companies seeds the development of robots, IoT devices, and other automated systems that will reshape logistics networks in the coming years.

Published: February 2024