VIA Project

Smart autonomous vehicle for industry

VIA - Smart autonomous vehicle for industry


March 2019 - December 2020


Project subsidized by:
VIA spri

Abstract

The VIA project's main objective is to develop the technology that enables the design of an autonomous intelligent vehicle focused on internal logistics operations in an industrial environment. This technology implies that the vehicle itself scans the plant, locates its position, plans the itinerary and guides itself through its navigation system, safely avoiding obstacles, whether fixed or mobile, which it detects as it passes through sensors, with the ability to adapt to dynamic changes that may occur in the work environment.

Modern manufacturing plants are at a critical moment of transformation towards Smart Factories, and cannot depend on traditional technologies or expensive and inflexible technologies. Manual materials transport systems or AGV guided automatic transport systems are not acceptable in an industrial environment that tends towards high flexibility and competitiveness, with increasingly tight production costs.
In summary, the industry needs a disruptive solution that overcomes the shortcomings and limitations of AGV automated guided vehicles currently used in in-plant internal logistics tasks. This solution involves the development of autonomous intelligent vehicles, and for this reason it is proposed to develop the VIA project.

The technology to be developed in the VIA project is within the strategic technologies that underpin the Industry 4.0 strategy, which consists of the combination of advanced production and operational techniques with intelligent technologies that are integrated into companies, people and assets. . This revolution is marked by the emergence of new technologies such as collaborative robotics, data analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive technologies, nanotechnology and the Internet of Things (IoT), etc.


Innovation

The VIA project's main objective is to develop the technology of an autonomous intelligent vehicle for use in internal logistics in an industrial environment. This implies that the vehicle itself scans the plant, locates its position, plans the itinerary and is guided through its navigation system safely avoiding obstacles, whether fixed or mobile, which it detects as it passes through sensors, with the ability to adapt to the dynamic changes that may occur in the work environment.

This autonomous vehicle technology is currently in the technological maturation phase and is the replacement technology for AGV automatic guided vehicles, which are implemented in many industries in material transport and logistics tasks.

The main advantages of autonomous vehicles over AGVs are:
  • Flexibility in operation that allows easy adaptation to different work environments, to changes in those environments, to changing tasks and to the increase or reduction of the vehicle fleet.
  • Low cost and implementation time. This technology does not require expensive installations and fixed infrastructures in the plant to implement it in the production system since it does not need guidance and navigation references.

The technological challenges of the project are the following:
  • Development of simultaneous mapping and location systems based on SLAM algorithms.
  • Development of the vehicle's intelligent navigation control (navigation architecture and advanced algorithms for trajectory planning and intelligent navigation, so that the vehicle reacts to obstacles and unforeseen events, thus allowing uninterrupted processes even when there are incidents en route, as well as navigation safe in environments with high vehicle traffic density and high personnel traffic
  • Definition of requirements and design of the positioning and mapping sensors
  • Development of the vehicle's on-board control unit
  • Development of the remote communication protocol and system with centralized fleet control, which is compatible with different fleet management systems.


Argolabe's role

Argolabe Ingeniería, S.L. is in charge of managing the project, carrying out and coordinating the development work with the Universityd

Project lead partner:


VIA Argolabe

Partners and collaborators:


UPV EHU Argolabe   

Subsidized by:

Hazitek Program, 2019 and 2020
VIA Project