Unmanned Systems Technology 023 I Milrem Multiscope I Wireless charging I Logistics insight I InterGeo, CUAV London & USA show reports I VideoRay Defender I OS Engines GR400U-FI I Ultrabeam Hydrographic Ultra-2 I IMUs

44 D eveloping autonomous systems for logistics is an obvious move given the routine and repetitive nature of the operations involved. Some production lines, warehouse management duties, cargo transport requirements and package deliveries rely on vehicles fitting into complex and sensitive networks, with potentially dire consequences for personnel and equipment if operational and safety concerns are not addressed. Other parts of a supply chain may actually benefit from removing manned vehicles and human input altogether, as unmanned systems can streamline them without people getting in the way. Networked systems that autonomously optimise themselves would be able to maximise the efficiency of each vehicle in an operation. From factory to warehouse The LD mobile robot from Omron has been used by Intek Engineering in a ‘smart factory’ in Norway, in which eight of the UGVs pick up finished units from production line cells and move them to the next stage of the supply chain, which is controlled via wi-fi by Omron’s autonomous Enterprise Manager software. The software uses a map of a facility – be it a factory, warehouse or similar – to navigate and position each UGV as it determines which is best for efficiency, taking into account factors such as timing, floor congestion and UGV battery charges. “While integrating robotics, vision and AI automation solutions for manufacturing processes, we often receive requests for a solution to replace conveyors, manually pushed carts or automated guided vehicles [AGVs] to ensure product flows from process to process,” says Bruno Adam, Omron’s mobile business director in Europe. While AGVs typically depend on tape or other floor-based systems for moving around a facility, each LD robot uses a lidar for real-time navigation indoors, with options for additional vertical side lasers to allow overhanging objects or holes on the floor to be detected. Detecting Unmanned vehicles and logistics operations are a perfect fit, as a growing number of developers are realising. Rory Jackson reports Supply and demand December/January 2019 | Unmanned Systems Technology