RoadPlan

AGV Traffic Control Development Tool

 

 

Many modern transport and production facilities are using free-driving automatic guided vehicles (AGV’s) to take care of moving goods or people.

For instance, at ECT containers are unshipped and loaded on top of computer-steered trucks for automated unmanned transport to the stacking area.

RoadPlan is an interactive planning and simulation tool to design, analyse and optimize road map layouts and agv traffic scheduling.

RoadPlan provides facilities for:

  • Traffic road map configuration and visualization
  • Interactive drawing and modification of traffic layouts
  • Collision and deadlock analysis of multiple agv’s on selectable routes
  • Interactive agv-shape editing
  • Automatic determination of collision and deadlock avoidance zones
  • Generation of semaphore signaling along routes
  • Simulation of agv traffic controlled by semaphores

The RoadPlan tool is created by dr A.L. Schoute (University of Twente, Computer Sciences, Distributed and Embedded Systems) and developed with the help of graduate students and in co-operation with FROG Navigation Systems, Utrecht. It has been supported by CONNEKT (formerly CTT) as part of the SMAGIC project. The SMAGIC project is a research effort of industry and universities aiming to increase the total throughput of AGV-transportation systems.


Challenges of multi-agv planning

Goals

  • creation of  “electronic” traffic infrastructure

  • delay minimalization

  • optimal space/time resource scheduling

  • safety

Approaches

  • planning in configuration space

  • offline preprocessing of static constraints

  • online scheduling by look-ahead analysis


Future plans

Look-ahead passing algorithms

  • Optimal passage priority

  • Speed adaptation

  • Minimization of delays

 

Dynamic route deviation control

  • Single-sided deviation

  • Virtual round-about

  • Dance-like passing (swirl)

 

Global traffic optimization

  • Driving by motion field effects

  • Crossing vehicle stream carousel

  • Multi-vehicle coordination


Publications

A.L.Schoute: RoadPlan Manual version 3.1, CTIT Technical Report Series, No. 02-28, ISSN 1381 - 3625.

A.L.Schoute: Onderzoek naar knelpunten op de ECT-terminal. In: Eindrapport SMAGIC fase 1, Centrum Transport Technologie-publicatiereeks nr. 34

N.W. Hibma: Traffic analysis for multiple AGV systems, Master's thesis, University of Twente, Enschede, SPA-97-001, January (1997)

R.M.de Groot: Dynamic traffic control of free-navigating automatic guided vehicles, Master's thesis, University of Twente, Enschede, SPA-97-008, July (1997). Some remarkable examples of results can be found here (simulation) and here (shortest path contest).

A.L.Schoute & P.Bouwens: Deadlock free traffic control with geometrical critical sections. In: Proceedings CSN94, pp. 260-270, Stichting MC, ISBN 90 6196 449 0, Amsterdam 1994