Virtual Prototyping Technologies Enabling Resource-Efficient and Human-Centered Product Development
In modern production environments employees work progressively closer together with autonomous robots and vehicles. Besides the technical specifications, the development of these products focuses on the human-machine interaction. Within the federally funded Project FOLLOWme an automated guided vehicle (AGV) for intralogistics that follows and interacts with the user is developed using virtual reality based prototypes. The benefits in comparison to using only physical prototypes are on the one hand specific user feedback regarding ergonomics and trust. On the other hand the validation of navigation and collision avoidance algorithms and optimization of technical parameters is achieved considering complex environmental conditions. This paper focuses on the latter in detail and deals with the optimization of a fuzzy logic controller using the game engine Unity3D to create the required virtual setup. This approach saves valuable time at early project stages and allows the optimization of a larger number of parameters compared to just physical tests. Furthermore it reduces resources like occupied physical infrastructure and improves the comprehension by using virtual reality.