PILOC: Technological system for the automation of logistics processes in critical contexts

ABSTRACT

In the last years, the logistics in warehouse management have reached increasing interest. The presence of autonomous mobile robots which carry the pallets following defined paths, greatly speeds up the carriage of materials from one position to another. The objective of the project is the development of a system that manages the automatic storage of materials. The activity of ISSIA concern the improvement of the control and localization of the mobile robot Smoov ASRV, property of ICAM srl.

 

Prototype of the Smoov ASRV platform assisted by the ISSIA-CNR triangulation system. The vehicle is moving through a sample smart warehouse at ICAM Srl (Putignano, Ba, Italy).

 

Triangulation-based laser scanner developed at ISSIA-CNR for the estimation of the pose of the Smoov ASRV autonomous vehicle.

 

Top view of the laser profilometer placed into the Smoov ASRV platform. See the compact and cost-effective Raspberry Pi single board computer on the right of this picture.

 

Side view of the Smoov ASRV platform. See the laser line projected onto the rail border for the estimation of the spatial pose of the vehicle.

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PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
ETTORE STELLA

DATA SHEET
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   TYPE AND DATE
   NATIONAL PROJECT
   STARTING DATE – Jan 2, 2012
   ENDING DATE – Jul 1, 2013

COST
TOTAL COST € 1.450.000,00
TOTAL FUNDING € 901.467,59

CNR ISSIA
COST € 210.000,00
FUNDING € 140.000,00

SUMMARY

The Smoov ASRV robot moves in two directions along rails inside a structure of torage cells in which the pallets can be deposited. The robot is able to lade the pallet and, moving on the rails, deposits it inside the storage cell. In this contest, the fast and accurate localization of the vehicle in the warehouse is fundamental.

ISSIA has devised a low-cost vision system fastened on one side of the robot to achieve accurate robot localization. The system is made by a camera, a laser source that projects a line shaped beam onto the profile rail and a single board computer for image processing. The vision system exploits the principle of triangulation to get information about the distance and the heading of the robot with respect to the boundary rail.  The speed of the vehicle is also estimated. Furthermore the position of hole edges situated along the rail profile are accurately estimated as they allow the obot to change the moving direction.

After a previously validation of the devised setup, a series of experiments have been carried out at ICAM to test the efficiency of the system. The vision system provides detailed and accurate information allowing a faster control of the robot and reducing the cycle times to execute a generic task. Although the devised vision system has been developed to assist the control of the Smoov ASRV autonomous vehicle, its application can be extended to any mobile robot moving in a structured environment.

 

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SOURCE OF FOUNDING

FundLQ

PARTNERSHIP

ICAM S.r.l., Italy
SmartId S.r.l., Italy
Sabacom S.r.l., Italy
CNR ISSIA,  Italy
Università del Salento, Italy