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Mobile Robots

While fixed robots serve as well proven and important production units in several factories and plants, mobile platforms and manipulators will become an organic part of the factories of the future. Factories requiring a higher degree of production flexibility will switch from traditional conveyor belts and vehicles with automatic control (ADV) to more intelligent mobile robots (AIV).
As a first step, robots are “given a tour” or the factory so that they can use their laser radars to map the objects in the area. Following this, robots merge the information gathered, creating a static map of the factory up to a height of 200 mms. This map contains all data related to shelves, machines, walls, and doors within the area of the plant. The robots use this map when calculating the most ideal route from any point to any other point.
While in operation, the laser radar provides robots with a 220 degree angle of view, making it possible to safely avoid obstacles, and to change their speed in real time based on their environment. The sides of the robots contain vertical laser radars which provide support for the main laser radar. These sensors ensure that the route goes around obstacles and spilled materials, as well as protruding objects, such as the fork of a forklift or open drawers that may hinder the mobile robot.
In addition to being capable of acting alone, mobile robots can performs tasks together with other robots when more than one vehicle is required for a task. The fleet management software acts as a coordinator for the mobile robots. This is essential to operation, as it calculates the position of the nearest mobile robot that needs help, and launches it in the appropriate direction. The software also provides information to mobile robots regarding busy areas, so that they have the information required for calculations. The fleet management software communicates with both the mobile robots and the manufacturing equipment, while continuously monitoring the position of the robots.

Mészáros Zsolt
MM Műszaki Magazin

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