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Integration of mobile vehicles for automated material handling using Profibus and IEEE 802.11 networks

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4 Author(s)
Suk Lee ; Sch. of Mech. Eng., Pusan Nat. Univ., South Korea ; Kyung Chang Lee ; Man Hyung Lee ; Harashima, F.

This paper focuses on a method to integrate mobile devices such as a mobile robot, automated guided vehicle, and unmanned container transporter to form an automated material handling system. In this paper, the stationary devices are connected via a Profibus network while the mobile devices are communicating via an IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN. In order to integrate these two networks, a protocol converter is developed on a PC platform that runs two interacting processes with shared internal buffers. The protocol converter performs a role of translator between two different protocols by converting the format of a data frame. In addition to this basic conversion function, the protocol converter has a virtual polling algorithm to reduce the uncertainty involved in accessing the wireless network. Finally, the integrated network. of Profibus and IEEE 802.11 is experimentally evaluated for its data latency and throughput, which shows the feasibility of the Profibus-IEEE 802.11 network for industrial applications involving mobile devices

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Industrial Electronics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 3 )