Trajectory planning for centrally controlled autonomous robots

October 21, 2020 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Centrally controlled robot vehicles to ensure urban mobility
Engineering services consultancy Edag in Switzerland has developed trajectory planning algorithms for a fleet of autonomous vehicles that are all centrally coordinated and controlled.

Edag's CityBot mobility concept uses robot vehicles controlled with AI algorithms, representing various innovations from the fields of autonomous driving, robotics and trajectory planning.

As a variable platform solution, the CityBot family is intended to enable numerous application variants in the field of urban mobility. The focus is not only on passenger transport, but also on autonomous work assignments, for example in the field of waste disposal or intralogistics, by means of various application-specific modules. For the CityBot concept to work, it is important that the vehicles travel in a defined spatial area that is closed to manually controlled cars, for example in company campuses, at airports or in city centres.

The vehicles find their way around in this area by means of lidar sensors. For near-field detection, these are supplemented with ultrasonic sensors. The signals from these sensors are then linked to each other using a fusion engine developed in-house. The result is a digital, overlapping 360° image of the real environmental situation. In addition, the merged environmental data are compared with the position data received via GNSS and existing digital maps. From this information, the CityBots calculate their respective trajectories using a software-implemented Vehicle Control Unit (VCU).

This trajectory planning goes beyond the possibilities of classic navigation systems, as it takes into account the individual route and reacts to dynamic situations with suitable evasive manoeuvres, EDAG advertises. In addition, the CityBot is not designed as a closed island system, but receives further merged data from other bots or stationary sensors of the infrastructure. This means that the EDAG CityBot is also able to look "around the corner". The vehicles are driven by wheel hub motors.

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