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Flexible automation in facility logistics

: Kamagaew, Andreas; Stenzel, Jonas; Ten Hompel, Michael


Gourab, S.G.:
Recent Advances in Robotics and Automation
Berlin: Springer, 2013 (Studies in computational intelligence 480)
ISBN: 978-3-642-37386-2 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-642-37387-9 (Online)
ISBN: 3-642-37386-0
Book Article
Fraunhofer IML ()
cellular transport system; swarm intelligence; autonomous behavior; sensor fusion; multi-agent-system; system architecture; system topology; vehicle control architecture

The concept of "Flexible Automation in Facility Logistics" with a Cellular Transport System shows the possibilities of automation and enhancement of flexibility and changeability in facility logistics systems. Additionally, the ease of use of complex decentralized control systems is shown by the utilization of Multi-Agent-Systems. This chapter shows how to improve these issues compared to conventional facility logistics systems, e.g. static conveyors or manual transportation, by using an autonomous vehicle swarm with a decentralized control architecture. Cellular Transport Systems are based on dedicated transportation entities (cells). Generally, these cells consist of Autonomous Transport Vehicles (ATVs) or autonomous conveying modules. Various functions such as advanced sensor/actuator interoperation, highly reliable communication, localization and energy management are implemented in each of these cells, facilitating different forms of adaptive, anticipatory and collective behavior.