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Browse Prior Art Database

AGV Laser-Guided Navigational System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000034633D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 64K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Holme, WM: AUTHOR

Abstract

A system for navigational guidance of automatic guided vehicles, without the use of floor-imbedded wires, or surface mounted optically or magnetically reflective tapes. A vertical laser beam reflects from ceiling-mounted mirrors positioned over the desired route guide path. Vehicles are controlled by dead-reckoning computer-assisted navigation, corrected to the position marker locations signaled by the laser-reflected beams. Various means have been devised, or attempted, to provide navigational guidance for automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) that do not require wires imbedded in the floor, or optical stripes upon the same (the former involves substantial expense, and is not quickly changeable; the latter involves degradation problems, from other floor traffic).

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AGV Laser-Guided Navigational System

A system for navigational guidance of automatic guided vehicles, without the use of floor-imbedded wires, or surface mounted optically or magnetically reflective tapes. A vertical laser beam reflects from ceiling-mounted mirrors positioned over the desired route guide path. Vehicles are controlled by dead- reckoning computer-assisted navigation, corrected to the position marker locations signaled by the laser-reflected beams. Various means have been devised, or attempted, to provide navigational guidance for automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) that do not require wires imbedded in the floor, or optical stripes upon the same (the former involves substantial expense, and is not quickly changeable; the latter involves degradation problems, from other floor traffic). Attempts to derive guidance from infrared, laser, or other beams, transmitted to, and reflected from, wall or baseboard markers, are subject to interference from other floor traffic. Horizontally aimed lasers subject personnel to possible danger. This invention uses laser light sources, beamed directly upward from the top of such vehicles, in conjunction with ceiling-mounted reflectors (mirrors, etc.), which reflect those beams down onto a set of photocells, mounted laterally across the top of the vehicle, to indicate vehicle position relative to those deflectors. Deflectors mark known positions along the vehicle guide path, over the same. Signals received from reflected laser beams signify vehicle position. The mirror-surfaced deflectors must have a surface curved across the guide path, such that the angle of deflection increa...