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Demystifying the "conductor" behind AGV

Demystifying the "conductor" behind AGV

Core Abstract: In 1996, Kollmorgen NDC brought laser navigation AGV to the Chinese market and has since led the development of AGV in the Chinese market. After Amazon's 4.8 billion yuan acquisition of Kiva in 2012, the world first discovered that AGV can still use this. Since then more scenes have been opened...

  In 1996, Kollmorgen NDC brought laser navigation AGV to the Chinese market and has since led the development of AGV in the Chinese market. After Amazon's 4.8 billion yuan acquisition of Kiva in 2012, the world first discovered that AGV can still use this. Since then, more scenes have been explored, indoor industrial, e-commerce, outdoor inspections, security and even the last mile delivery, the AGV market began to grow rapidly.

When the AGV is taken apart, the key technologies are mainly embodied in the four aspects of vehicle body design, vehicle control, navigation technology, and dispatching system. The combination of the latter three technologies is collectively referred to as the Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) automation kit. Ontology, control, and navigation are the key to the excellence of an AGV car, while back-end scheduling is the top priority of his ability to land. After all, AGV must ensure the production efficiency of the factory.
Therefore, breaking through the single intelligence, the real application to the ground, showing a group of high IQ, excellent background scheduling system is essential.
AGV scheduling system function
1. AGV scheduling task
AGV task scheduling is to communicate with the AGV, select one from the idle AGV, and guide the AGV to complete the transportation function according to a certain route.
2. Real-time path planning
The real-time path planning is based on the location where the AGV is selected and the location of the target site, and the AGV is optimally looped, and the AGV is guided to plan the route to complete the transportation function.
3. Traffic control
In some specific areas, due to space reasons or process requirements, only one AGV can pass at the same time, or two AGVs can't drive to the head. The dispatching system needs to manage the AGV to guide the passing of certain AGVs. Other sorting, this is called traffic control.
4. Field device information collection and motion control
Some equipment on the customer site needs to be physically docked with the AGV to achieve automatic unloading of materials, and at some point it is necessary to send signals to control the actions of the field devices.
6. Live call interface
Respond to certain device signals in the field as call information, or respond to live manual buttons as call information. Both the dispatching system and the on-site call information communicate via a protocol.
7. Equipment condition monitoring
Monitor the running status and task information of the AGV, display the AGV route and position information with a graphical interface (this part can be considered to use the configuration software), task information history, AGV working status log query, log query And other functions.

Landing difficulty varies with the environment
The current AGV scheduling has no open source software, so the algorithms are different. Generally speaking, there are two kinds. One is that they build from the bottom. The advantage of independent research and development is that they are strong in the future. However, due to their own strength, the products made are uneven, and the simple one can only go straight to the end. , parking at the crossroads, and excellent companies can change the path selection, intelligent control of vehicles and so on.
Second, outsourcing, because Kollmorgen entered the industry earlier, the current AGV manufacturers established in the market, such as Kunming, Xinsong, Hangcha, Anhui Heli, Jiateng, Today International, Ouyi, Yifeng, etc. They all use Kollmorgen's dispatch system.
The difficulty of the scheduling system changes with the change of the scene. In simple terms, outdoor scenes are difficult to be indoor scenes, while in indoor scenes, e-commerce warehousing and industrial scenes have their own difficulties.
This is mainly because there are very few people involved in the e-commerce environment. The whole environment is standardized and controllable. It will be relatively simple, but hundreds of thousands of units require AGV to be efficient, responsive, and sensitive. At the same time, the amount of SKUs processed is large; while the difficulty in the industrial environment is mainly due to the participation of people, the controllability is weak, and it is limited by the production cycle of the entire production line.
In the e-commerce environment, Kiva's dispatching system is the world leader. At present, Kiva's background scheduling system can schedule thousands of AGVs at the same time. AGV works according to the instructions. It is methodical. In the domestic e-commerce AGV manufacturers, the industry insiders said that the quick-position AGV dispatching system can do Up to a few hundred units, the industry has a good response, after the extreme Zhijia, road innovation, etc. can achieve hundreds.
In addition to the industrial scene, the Kollmorgen NDC8 classic AGV dispatching system can achieve a maximum of 120 units in a single system. At present, domestic partners have implemented about 50 units in the tire industry. In the system manager NG, which was launched in 2017, Kollmorgen has made more breakthroughs.
Established in 2017, Shanghai Bintong Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd., with its founding team and excellent R&D team from Carnegie Mellon University, has launched the “Hanxin” intelligent dispatching system, which has reached the scale of dozens of platforms. Gong Chaohui said: "This is mainly due to the limited industrial scene. In the laboratory, we can achieve hundreds of dispatches."
The Steiner robot, which focuses on indoor logistics, has its own FMS intelligent dispatching system. At present, there are 20 industrial scenes that have been landed, and in the experimental site simulation, hundreds of units can be achieved; the whole industry is committed to Haikang robots. In addition to the industry-leading navigation algorithms, the RCS robot control scheduling system can adapt to various flexible internal logistics scenarios through the multi-intelligence competition game algorithm.
Lu Zhangyuan, director of the Institute of High-Tech Robotics, said: "At the moment when the AGV track is increasingly crowded, the competition between enterprises has risen from product strength to comprehensive strength. As the key to AGV landing, the importance of dispatch control system is not mentioned. However, the intelligence and flexibility of AGV landing depends on the advantages and disadvantages of the scheduling system."
It can be said that from the level of AGV products, the domestic and foreign technology levels are almost the same. The main difference is reflected in the level of the dispatch control system, that is, the software algorithm level. At present, many emerging companies and teams enter the field, and the capital continues to be injected. To a certain extent, it will accelerate technological upgrading and breakthroughs in this field.