Navigation by means of laser radar is similar in flexibility to contour navigation. This navigation variant does, however, always require an additional optical connection of the sensor to the reflectors. Each sensor must therefore be mounted high enough on the AGV that it always has a clear view of the reflectors. If the connection to the reflectors is interrupted, e.g., when entering a shelf aisle, the AGV must switch to another type of navigation. This makes it more difficult to change to another room if necessary, limiting the flexibility.
Optical and inductive guidance
Optical and inductive guidance are usually very simple systems that follow a predefined trace. As a result, they are very limited in terms of flexibility. On the other hand, however, they represent a very cost-optimized solution. Because the sensor on the AGV is mounted only a short distance from the floor, such a form of navigation is independent of the selected vehicle type.
With the so-called grid navigation, information is embedded in a specified grid on or in the surface that is traveled, e.g., 2D-codes or transponders. With the help of the information ascertained while traveling over the individual grid points - with a 2D-code these are, e.g., the code information and reading angle - the AGV can navigate between the individual grid points and thereby reach any specified point within the grid. This type of navigation is suitable above all for clean surfaces and surfaces not subject to heavy loading.
A general evaluation and recommendation for the suitable navigation variant can only be determined in combination with the function of the AGV within the given application. At the present time, however, there is a clear trend towards contour navigation with integrated safety function.
About the author:
Matthias Goehner is Corporate Industry Manager at Leuze electronic GmbH - www.leuze.com