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HANNOVER MESSE 2019, 01 - 05 April
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Integrated Automation, Motion & Drives

LEDs light the way home for autonomous transporters

A new system leverages light to navigate driverless transportation vehicles through industrial buildings, with positioning via LED lights.

13 Apr. 2019
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LEDs light the way home for autonomous transporters (Photo: Fraunhofer IEM)

LiONS (light sensor-based positioning and navigation services for autonomous systems) is the name of the three-year project on which the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechatronic Systems Design IEM joined forces with Osram , Götting , and KEB Automation between 2015 and 2018 to research the capabilities of light-based positioning in industry. The result of the three-year collaboration is a positioning system that leverages light to navigate driverless transporter vehicles through logistics and production halls. Positioning is via LED lights, which are installed on the hall ceiling and emit unique identifiers via special pulsating light.

The entire system, including the modular transport system KATE from Götting and lights and sensors from Osram, has been tested in the field of electronics manufacturing at KEB Automation. According to the project partners, the advantages of the ready-for-market system are that obstacles on the hall floor do not disrupt the communication between sender and receiver and navigation largely runs smoothly. In addition, the route the driverless transporters take can be flexibly reprogrammed.

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