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Design and Development
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ANT localization—Even more simple
Autonomous navigation system that requires no guidance infrastructure.
By Robotics Trends' News Sources - Filed Apr 06, 2012

More Design and Development stories
BlueBotics SA - Lausanne, Switzerland—A result of more than 10 years of development within BlueBotics, ANT is a navigation system dedicated to mobile robotic platform and to AGVs (or automated guided vehicles). In its full version, ANT navigation, allows localizing, driving, avoiding obstacles and handling the missions of an AGV.

Since its release on industrial vehicles in 2009, ANT is continuously expanding the market which had hitherto been less automated. Contrary to conventional guidance systems, such as wire-guidance or laser guidance, ANT requires no additional infrastructure. The system is based on features that are naturally present in the environment (walls, pillars, corners…). Given that no additional and costly infrastructure is needed, it also becomes economically feasible to install vehicles where the price of infrastructure guidance (wires, magnets, reflectors …) rendered it beforehand impossible.

ANT navigation is now highly popular among integrators specialized in products tailored to the customer’s need and installations with a limited number of vehicles. This product offers a wide range of functionalities that enables localization, motion control, obstacle avoidance and handling of the missions on the vehicle.

In addition to the removal of the infrastructure guidance costs, ANT can be installed in a few hours, enables modification of the paths and missions in a few clicks, allows high-accuracy positioning of +/- 1 cm, a speed of more 1.5 m/sec and is compatible with a hybrid use of the vehicle (in both manual and autonomous modes). Particularly convenient in hospital settings where guidance systems are undesirable, ANT products are highly effective in dynamic environments such as assembly lines, and obviously in logistics storage facilities, principal AGVs users.

Announced last year, BlueBotics releases officially in early 2012 a new variant of ANT consisting only of the localization functionality - ANT localization. This system uses the information that is provided by safety laser sensors in order to determine the vehicle’s position in its environment and transmit it in the form of coordinates (X, Y, theta) to the on board controller via a standard simple interface (serial port).

This new version allows to use existing elements such as vehicle’s control, centralized planning of the missions, supervision and integration your AGVs’ fleet in a planning system based on ERP (entreprise resource manager) or WMS (warehouse management system) while keeping the novel benefits related to ANT.

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