Introduction: Mobile robots and autonomous vehicles have been using in industrial applications for different purposes especially for the last decade. Today, the need for them is dramatically increasing. The industrial processes are being converted into automated modes and by this way the number of products manufactured is being increased parallel to these enhancements. One of the challenges encountered in the manufacturing lines is the transportation of the products between manufacturing lines or to the storage area. The conventional transportation techniques cannot reach the speed of the automated manufacturing lines. The transportation of the products from the stock area to the production line should be able to respond the production rate of the production line. The solution lies the use of an autonomous ground vehicle and a robotic system together, which is called as automated storage and retrieval robotic system. The system proposed in this study composes of a four wheeled autonomous vehicle with a computer controlled forklift and a 3DOF mechanical system that has the capability of motions in three axes. Aim: In this study, the aim is to develop an automated storage and retrieval robotic system that can be used in industrial applications for doing a connection between the manufacturing lines and the storage area. The whole system is designed based on an autonomous forklift and a computer controlled mechanical system which has the capability of moving in x, y and z directions. The design, simulation, manufacturing and control processes of the 3DOF mechanical system are completed and the details are to be presented in this paper. Scope: The scope of the study is the development of a robotic system including an autonomous forklift and a 3DOF automated machine. The system is considered to be integrated into a production line in order to increase the production rate, performance, safety and quality of the end products. The system considered promises also an IoT structure that allows to publish the current state of the autonomous system to the registered users. It is planned that the communication and computational tasks are performed into embedded computers which run Linux operating system. Limitations: The limitations in this study depend on how much the manufacturing line is complex and how much the storage area is well designed. The performance of the system designed is determined by these two important criteria. Method: The 3DOF mechanical part of the automated storage and retrieval robotic system is designed based on linear guidance, power screw and belt-drum systems. Three actuators are used to give motion to the end-effector of the retrieval robotic system. The system is designed in a way that the accuracies in three axes are less than 0.1 mm. Three independent motion control units are coupled with the actuators. The required control signal is generated via an Atmel based microprocessor. A user interface is also designed to be able to construct the communication between the end user and the robotic system. All the programming infrastructure is developed using C/C++ programming language. Results: The system is fully designed using a computer aided design tool. Necessary simulations are performed before the mechanical production and assemblies are done. The control algorithms designed are also tested in Matlab & Simulink environment. At the current state, the manufacturing and the experimental studies of the 3DOF retrieval robotic system are completed. The robotic system can be able to track a reference desired trajectory and the system responds to the user inputs with a tracking error less than 0.1 mm which satisfies the design requirement. Conclusion: The industrial applications need automated systems in their production lines. The use of autonomous vehicles have been sharply increasing in industry, however, it is still far from filling the gap which is about the need an intelligent connection between the storage area and the manufacturing lines. In this study, a solution is proposed for this problem by taking into consideration the required movements between storage and production lines. An automated storage and retrieval robotic system design is introduced. The starting point, design, manufacturing and experimental studies are illustrated. It can be concluded that the performance and accuracy of a manufacturing line in an industrial application would be increased if a robotic system, proposed in this study, is adapted. The results obtained in the experimental studies would also give some highlights to the researchers and engineers who wish to work on this subject.
Anahtar Kelimeler: Automation, autonomous storage, retrieval robot, unmanned ground vehicle