Since 2016, BMW has utilized self-driving robots in its supply logistics. Now, a successor has been presented as part of CeMAT . The automatic guided vehicle (AGV) is the product of collaboration between the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) , the BMW Group and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation (IPA) .
The new version works with a navigation concept based on the surroundings. Before commissioning, the robot drives around the new environment, creating a map via a SLAM algorithm (simultaneous localization and mapping) to serve as a basis for determining the ideal route. Should the surroundings change later on, for example due to people or machines that cross the robot’s path, it is capable of stopping immediately or bypassing the obstacle with the help of a time elastic band (TEB) approach.
The performance values of the vehicle have also changed. While the initial version could move loads up to 550 kg with a dead weight of 135 kg, the new robot features a dead weight of 120 kg and is capable of moving up to 1,000 kg. The engineers are also working to increase the current speed of 1.2 m/s to 2.2 m/s.