The Open Shuttle Fork navigation is based on SLAM technology (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping). The natural contours are detected, saved and continuously compared with the known contours of the route. The forklift therefore always knows where it is. Thanks to this approach, the Open Shuttle Fork can be started up immediately, without changing or adapting the existing infrastructure.
Thomas Ulz: Localization works without additional markers, simply based on the existing contours. No inductive loops in the floor or any other type of visual marker are needed. The laser scanner of the AMR simply reads the existing contours. Based on the localization, the Open Shuttle Fork navigates through its surroundings. The vehicle uses virtual lines, or tracks, defined and managed in our software.
The automated guided vehicle forklift for pallets is managed by the KiSoft FCS software. This ensures, most importantly, smooth-flowing fleet traffic and the optimum assignment of transport jobs.”
Thomas Ulz: The Open Shuttle Fork is managed by the software KiSoft FCS. KiSoft Fleet Control System (FCS) is the central instance for coordinating the fleet of autonomous mobile robots. KiSoft ensures that the fleet traffic flows smoothly and optimally assigns the transport orders. This is accomplished by planning and reserving the travel paths precisely and by correctly communicating the driving commands to the AMRs, which then carry out these commands. The travel paths exist only in the software and are therefore virtual. You can compare the functionality of KiSoft FCS to a flight control system, where very precise directions ensure the smooth and efficient flow of traffic.
Thomas Ulz: KiSoft FCS can be combined with KNAPP systems as well as other host systems or can be implemented as a stand-alone. The assignment of orders considers all available AMRs and all the defined travel paths as well as the current traffic situation and coming work load. An optimized workflow and throughput for the entire system is the result.
Thomas Ulz: Naturally, the fleet control system works best with KNAPP’s AMRs. This includes the Open Shuttles for container transport and the Open Shuttle Fork, our AGV for pallets. Interfaces such as the VDA 5050 allow the software to control the AMRs of other manufacturers. Manual transport resources such as forklift trucks can also be mapped in the system. One definite advantage of KiSoft FCS is its scalability. This applies not only to the fleet size in terms of its ability to control a variety of vehicles using its line-based system, but also through the scalability obtained by just adding more vehicles.