Locator Software Adds Flexibility and Usability To Mobile Robotics
With Bosch Rexroth’s ROKIT Locator software, mobile robots can independently determine their position. Users no longer need expert knowledge or additional infrastructure to commission a mobile robot. Locator allows mobile robots to determine their position and orientation in any environment, simplifying the automation of intralogistics tasks in industry and trade. Locator is compatible with various industrial controllers and laser sensors on the market and is suitable for mobile units of all sizes and drive types.
Until now, many users have shied away from the effort required to introduce autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). Project durations are often several months, and the areas of application in the facility must be equipped with marking strips, reflectors or mirrors. Afterwards, specialists must manually train the mobile units to effectively navigate their environment.
With Locator, this time-consuming process can be replaced with quick and easy commissioning, without requiring additional expert knowledge. Locator enables the robots to evaluate the signals from a laser sensor in the vehicle and convert them into coordinates in space. No permanently installed aids, such as markers or reflectors, are required for orientation and position determination. Users only need one click to start up the system and familiarize the unit with its surroundings in a one-time orientation trip. An intuitive user interface based on 3D technology is provided for this purpose. The software maps an initially unknown environment and automatically creates a map.
Locator stores this map on the vehicle itself, or optionally on an on-site server component, also offered by Bosch Rexroth. If several mobile units are used, they all access this map. Afterwards, immediate localization is possible without initial knowledge.
If a vehicle detects a change in the environment, such as when setting up a new storage location, it sends this information to the server, which automatically updates the map accordingly and sends it to all the mobile units in the fleet. Mobile units purchased subsequently with the Locator take over the server data when they are put into operation and can drive off immediately.
The Locator can be used in a wide variety of vehicle types, industries and applications. The software is independent of the hardware used by a vehicle manufacturer. As an encapsulated function block, it fits into numerous control systems and supports a wide range of laser sensors, including safety lasers. Locator is already being used by various AGV and AMR manufacturers, including Bosch Rexroth’s MP1000R and ACTIVE Shuttle.
For more information: www.boschrexroth.com