Browse Prior Art Database

Routing and Tracking of Automatically Guided Vehicle

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000043542D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-04
Document File: 3 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Shumate, JR: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This article describes a routing and tracking of an automatically guided vehicle (AGV) in which the guide path used by the vehicle will be put down in phases. The host processor software design allows for update of the guide path definition through a utility interface without basic software modification. Vehicle control includes contention solution, status tracking and dead reckoning maneuvers. The AGV is used to move the product from one manufacturing operation to the next. It uses a reflective chemical guide path in conjunction with an optical sensor on the AGV. At key points along the guide path are four-inch spurs that are placed at a right angle to the track. These spurs are placed in groups to form unique binary number location codes (L-code) that are read by the optical sensor.

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Routing and Tracking of Automatically Guided Vehicle

This article describes a routing and tracking of an automatically guided vehicle (AGV) in which the guide path used by the vehicle will be put down in phases. The host processor software design allows for update of the guide path definition through a utility interface without basic software modification. Vehicle control includes contention solution, status tracking and dead reckoning maneuvers. The AGV is used to move the product from one manufacturing operation to the next. It uses a reflective chemical guide path in conjunction with an optical sensor on the AGV. At key points along the guide path are four-inch spurs that are placed at a right angle to the track. These spurs are placed in groups to form unique binary number location codes (L-code) that are read by the optical sensor. The host sends a string of commands to the AGV telling it what to do for each code that is read, sequenced in the order that the AGV will read the codes. More than one command may be keyed to any given code. The host may also request status from the AGV to determine its state and position. The position is determined by the last code that was read, the direction of the read, and the distance traveled from the code. To accomplish these requirements with the required flexibility a mapping technique has been developed to allow automatic command sequence generation. The software developed for the host in the application disclosed herein is divided into two parts: a) Utility used to define the map. b) The operational program that commands and tracks the vehicle. The mapping is accomplished by dividing the guide path into parts that will be referred to as segments. Key to the definition is segment direction. The directions used are the four major compass points. It is not important that north be actual north but that all definitions use the same reference. The information required to define a portion of the guide path is the length of the segment (portion of guide path being defined), the direction of each end, the type of travel (one- or two-way) and what is connected to each end. Fig. I illustrates part of a guide path defined by segments 8, 53, 42, 4,1 and 83. The numbers assigned to the segment are arbitrary as long as they do not exceed the limitation of the space provided for the definition. For the current application the limit of 256 segments has been established. The definition will indicate that ends of segment 4 are south and east. The connection on the south end is to segments 1 and 42. The east end of segment 4 is connected to a station 8. In addition to a number, the connection has a qualifier to tell if the connection is to another segment, an L-code or a station. These are the three items to which a segment may be connected. Presently there is a limit of s...