Abstract – This paper represents the
concept of major material handling systems known as Automated Guided Vehicle
(AGV), a robot that can be accessed using wireless communication. It can be
used to deliver materials from supply area to the technician automatically. AGV
travels along the virtual path provided to it using computers. Hence, this
requires less human intervention and manual control. Also, to avoid collision
with human workers, a proximity detector can be added which causes the robot to
stop when an obstacle is detected in its way. The human errors have a negative
effect on safety, efficiency and quality. These effects can be reduced using
Automated Guided Vehicle, AGV.

Index Terms – Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV), Radio Frequency (RF), docking, ATmega 16,
Wireless communication.

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I. Introduction

Automation
in manufacturing technology allows companies to rapidly produce products. This
has provoked a trend to reduce bulk inventory in favor of short term supplies.
Improved product handling and speed can be achieved with the implementation of
an Automated Guided Vehicle, AGV. With the help of intelligent computers, the AGV can
safely achieve high speeds. It is highly flexible due to remote communication.
Its ability to communicate with other autonomous vehicles provides a seamless
operation. The AGV can detect the objects in its path. Increased product turn-around
and faster shipping results in satisfied customers. More number of AGV’s can
result in a very efficient team work and can be very useful in various
industries. Also, it creates a better working environment. AGV models are
developed as a prototype for implementing and evaluating algorithms proposed.

        The AGV system using wireless
communication is designed for mobile transportation of materials in industries
by defining a virtual path and image processing so that speed and accuracy in
moving objects will increase. The major advantage of this prototype is that the
idea here is to provide a virtual path, which does not require any further
human monitoring until the task is completed. Many other sensors can be used
into this to detect the various payload conditions etc.

                                                                                                                                       
II. Review
Of Related Literature

The material
handling systems used in manufacturing are automated guided vehicles (AGVs) or
mobile robots. Accordingly the speed of motors is controlled and
thus mobile robot is made to follow the predetermined path. In order to turn,
one wheel is stopped while opposite wheel continues to turn. The position of a
robot is gathered from infrared sensor data. 6

Researches done
on AGV till today, focus on the functions of AGV on moving materials and
products. They also aim at finding optimal paths for AGV, routes designed to
avoid collision and deadlocks. The AGV prototype has been developed to create a
framework for a co-ordinate environment providing most efficient mode of
transferring many types of materials in and out of a factory or manufacture
setting .1  

The fully
automated vehicles should have the ability to drive safe and smooth in
traffics. Path tracking, steering, obstacle avoidance and traffic laws must be
considered in the driving goals. Some ethical principles are designed to
prevent vehicle from causing harm to humans, damage to itself or other objects
or from violating traffic rules. Also the vehicle must be able to handle the
situation like if an obstacle appears in the path, it must deviate. Obstacle avoidance
has a high priority in roadways 2.

Docking is
defined as the arrival and stopping a position relative to other object. Also
it includes positioning of vehicle or equipment onboard the vehicle relative to
other object. The docking stage was implemented by introducing a vital target
between the current mobile robot position and the final target location. The
design of AGV also faces control problems like collision and deadlock along
with guide-path routing. To solve collision problems, sensors are attached with
the vehicle. 4

The vehicle’s
position can be gathered by the data obtained by the Infra-Red (IR) sensors. A
sensor controller can be used to keep the AGV on the track. Also, additional IR
sensors can be used on front and side of the vehicle to detect obstacles and
stations respectively. Unless the obstacle from the path is removed, the AGV
stops and whenever it restarts after stopping, it recalls its operation 3.

 

                                                                                                                                                            
III. METHODOLOGY

  In industries, we have seen that
a large number of workers are required to shift heavy loads from one place to
other. This takes a lot of time as well as a lot of human labor. In order to
make the work easier, line following robots as well as vehicles is created
following the orders and works according to the instructions given to them.

As more and more research went on, technology increased and new
modifications were done on these vehicles. Till today, the AGVs developed used
to follow the path on the floor. It is now modified as the vehicle which
follows the virtual path given to it through devices like computers or laptops.
Through wireless communication, the user can instruct the AGV where it must go.