Communication, mapping and navigational aspects for a free-ranging, automated guided vehicle.
A free-ranging automated guided vehicle incorporating navigation and radio communication for use in a fully automated flexible manufacturing system has been developed. A vehicle, operating as a complete subsystem, was built and tested in an integrated control environment and proved to have promising results. various radio communication techniques are examined and the design and testing of a low cost, wireless, two way communication link is detailed. A novel, flexible infrared navigation technique was developed and incorporated into the AGV subsystem. Path planning and a flexible real time path modification system was formulated using an innovative program with an interpolative visual display unit and digitiser. Data transfer to and from the vehicles in a real time integrated system is covered. System integration for an free-ranging automatic guided vehicle is discussed covering aspects of communication, mapping and navigation. Specific needs for a free-ranging automatic guided vehicle, are presented. The unique design features of navigation and mapping outlined in this thesis has resulted in a low cost, free-ranging, autonomous automatic guided vehicle.