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The virtual vehicle-a materials handling system using highly distributed coordination control

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3 Author(s)
Luntz, J.E. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; Rollins, E. ; Messner, W.

In the research described, the authors are developing a materials handling system where many small, simple actuators cooperate to convey large objects with three degrees of freedom in a plane. The actuators, or cells, are arranged in a regular array, fixed to a planar surface, and objects are passed over the array. Such an array provides very flexible materials handling in which many objects can be conveyed simultaneously in different directions. The array is coordinated in a distributed manner, rather than by a central controller, where each manipulator has its own controller, and each controller communicates with its neighbors. The system is modeled as a continuous medium rather than a collection of independent entities, and useful behaviors are derived from physical analogies such as heat transfer and fluid flow

Published in:

Control Applications, 1995., Proceedings of the 4th IEEE Conference on

Date of Conference:

28-29 Sep 1995