Leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT), HYCOWARE researches a solution aimed at linking the products of multiple export-oriented service providers in an interoperable, cost-effective solution for all automated warehouse needs. These range from connected workers, transport systems, goods and trolleys, to sensors, conveyor systems and other devices.

Multi-vendor solution to connect warehouses

Modern warehouses continue to fall short of true connectivity due to barriers including high integration costs, inability to integrate new with existing solutions, expensive hardware, and the lack of clear business models. There is the potential for significant improvement in efficiency, production quality and logistics, especially in the EU, where industry accounts for 21% of its GDP and 22% of its employment.

HYCOWARE seeks to unlock the connected warehousing market by developing novel, low-cost wirelessly-connected products that can be easily deployed or integrated with existing solutions. This approach will lead to interoperable multi-vendor solutions that allow traditional warehouses to evolve over time into connected warehouses that collect data from all connected sources, regardless of their brand.

Affordable, innovative and easy-to-use technology

To achieve its goals of affordability and easy use, the HYCOWARE project focuses on achieving clear results in the areas of innovative connected products, low-cost wireless networking, localization and ‘plug-and-produce’ connected goods, devices and people. These results lead to greater efficiency, less stress, reduced workloads and increased safety.

HYCOWARE’s four planned innovations in connected products are: 

  • a conveyor system with wirelessly-connected, locatable carriers, loads and operators;
  • a 2D always-connected shuttle for storing goods; 
  • advanced hybrid tracking tags; and 
  • connected operators through the use of augmented reality.

Two use cases

Two use cases will demonstrate the feasibility of rapidly deploying interoperable systems that consist of hybrid connected products and wireless communication and localization technologies. The HYCOWARE consortium will work with committed partners sharing expertise in manufacturing, IT and logistics to meet two overarching goals. HYCOWARE will not only develop new technologies in the form of connected hardware, software and supporting tools; the project will also generate new knowledge in the areas of wireless technologies, multi-vendor systems, the impact of connected products on businesses and potential new markets.


Partners see major opportunities in extending their portfolios, benefiting from innovations in the IoT domain. The same goes for aggregating the knowledge produced by connected products to obtain a holistic view and to realize advanced use cases that contribute to increased efficiency and quality.


Hybrid connected warehouses.


HYCOWARE is an imec.icon project funded by imec and IWT.

It started on 01.04.2016 and is set to run until 31.05.2018.

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Project information


  • Aucxis
  • Intation


  • imec - IBCN - UGent
  • imec - WAVES - UGent


  • Project Lead: Wim Van Betsbrugge
  • Research Lead: Jeroen Hoebeke 
  • Innovation Manager: Stefan Van Baelen

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