Cooperation Framework for Vehicles in Production and Logistics

The production of the future must cope with fluctuations in demand and supply bottlenecks and be sustainable. This requires flexible production. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are an important building block for this. Heterogeneous fleets of these mobile robots are already transporting material in production and have different navigation, steering and driving systems. By joining together to form groups, they will be able to transport heavy loads and even entire machines in the future. In contrast to the previous communication via a central system, this requires new approaches on decentralized communication between the vehicles.

The INDU4 - Coop_AGV project aims to realize flexible and adaptable production through the interaction of different Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). The project team is developing a modular framework that must be able to exchange different types of data with different speed, transmission reliability and size. The project is divided into two main areas: At the IFT of the University of Stuttgart, the interaction is worked out based on the already theoretically derived path specification and the necessary communication between individual AGVs in the network. The IFL of KIT investigates the general communication between vehicles and develops a modular framework that enables a standardized, decentralized data exchange. The project will take up the preliminary work of the participating institutes and demonstrate the flexibility and adaptability potential of AGVs. Numerous project partners from industry (manufacturers of AGV hardware, safety technology and software) are supporting the development of the framework with their expert knowledge.

The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg for the financial support of the projects within the InnovationsCampus Future Mobility.