Team coordinators Alessandro Tasora, Marco Silvestri and Filippo Branzi.
Rover concept Giancarlo Anzelotti, Filippo Branzi.
Control software Alessandro Tasora
Electronics, calibration, testing Mauro Risoli, Patrick Manzini.
Enterprise Pyxis - Carpi, Italy - in collaboration with University of Parma
Year 2006-2007

This robot is an autonomous guided vehicle (AGV) aimed at moving small boxes of plastic medical devices build by PYXIS (Carpi, IT). Boxes are continuously filled by plastic molding systems in different places of a large building, while the deposit is in another part of the building: the rover will move between them using a digital control system.

This robot had to meet special requirements from the Pyxis company, in fact it must be small enough (only 60cm of length) in order to cross cluttered environments, and the plane for carrying boxes must be as near as possible to the ground (otherwise it does not match the height of some external devices).

The AGV is based on a typical differential-wheels scheme. In fact two brushless motors (LENZE) are used to drive the two side wheels. Special care has been paid in choosing the proper motors, given constraints on maximum speed, slope, braking, etc.

The two motors are controlled by 50V servo drives, connected by a CAN field bus. A connection is provided between the rover and a master PC thank to a wireless communication.

A soft-real-time controller runs with a 20ms periodicity, feeding CANopen telegrams to the motors for the speed setpoint, according to a robot program which resides into RAM. A custom robot language with a minimal parser has been developed at this end, using C++. An intuitive user interface is under developement.

Further secret details cannot be discussed, because of a non-disclosure agreement.

The robot - almost completed. Click on the image to see the film (3Mb MPEG).

The two LENZE brushless motors.

The inner parts of the AGV. Note two of the four big 12V accumulators.

Some wiring inside the robot.