Decentralized Traffic Control for Non-Holonomic Flexible Automated Guided Vehicles in Industrial Environments

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Abstract:

This paper deals with the problem of coordinating flexible automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in real manufacturing systems. The problem consists of ensuring safe and successful task execution while several AGVs operate as a distributed transportation system in real industrial environments. The proposed solution combines different decentralized techniques to increase the flexibility and scalability of the multirobot system. The coordination is addressed by dividing the problem into path planning, obstacle avoidance and traffic control problems. The path planning method takes into account the location of mates for replanning the routes. The obstacle avoidance technique considers the kinematic constraints of the platform for reactive motion control. The traffic control approach makes use of a decentralized control policy that takes into account the capabilities of vehicles. By combining all these techniques and configuring the system properly, we present the successful development of a distributed transportation system composed of a team of flexible AGVs. The proposed solution has been validated using both a set of custom-modified AGVs operating in a real factory and a simulation of several AGVs operating in a virtual scenario.

Keywords: DECENTRALIZED CONTROL; INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS; MULTIROBOT SYSTEMS; PATH PLANNING

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/016918611X563283

Affiliations: 1: Department of Information and Communications Engineering, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain;, Email: dherrero@um.es 2: Department of Information and Communications Engineering, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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