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Navigation and docking manoeuvres of mobile robots in industrial environments

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2 Author(s)
Roth, H. ; FH Ravensburg-Weingarten, Germany ; Schilling, K.

The actual developed generation of automated guided vehicles (AGVs), used for the flow of materials in industrial production lines, offer increased flexibility by storing the reference path in the vehicle's on-board computer. This requires an effective path planning strategy, in particular with respect to navigation, collision avoidance and docking to target stations. Sensors to support these manoeuvres need to be robust, to survive in the rough industrial environment, cheap, to be an alternative to the existing wire-guided vehicles, and accurate, to meet the performance requirements. To cope with all these topics different low-cost sensors have to be used and their information has to be fused by intelligent algorithms. This paper addresses the combination of measurement signals of simple CCD-cameras, odometry sensors and ultrasonic sensors for a low cost approach to free navigation including target docking. The performance of this concept has been proofed by factory trial tests in the frame of the ESPRIT-project RETRARO in the production environment of the company Schoeller-Bregenz, active in the area of wool processing and spinning

Published in:

Industrial Electronics Society, 1998. IECON '98. Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference of the IEEE  (Volume:4 )

Date of Conference:

31 Aug-4 Sep 1998