A unique Automatic Guided Vehicle was being developed, based on the use of Mecanum wheels. These wheels enable the AGV to have true omni-directional capability, with the AGV capable of linear movement forward/backward or side/side or performing zero radius turns. A complete control system including installation of a custom central controller, power amplifiers, sensor integration and algorithm development was requested. The use of open source software to minimize recurring licensing costs was also requested. The AGV needed to be operated in 3 modes, teleoperation, manual and semi-autonomous mode. In semi-autonomous mode the AGV was to follow a person using data from the on-board Lidar sensor.
Dataspeed Inc. adapted its proprietary multi-sensor fusion controller to act as the central controller. The MSFC contains multiple processors, some performing low-level tasks like power moding, low-level networking via CAN and external sensor interfacing A multi-core I7 COM module running Linux was implemented, with the open source Robot Operating System used to develop and run the application code. The modeling and simulation capability of ROS was used extensively to develop the navigation system and leader-follower behavior. Commercial power amplifiers were networked via CAN to control the velocities of each of the 4 mecanum wheels. The user is able to switch between the 3 modes of operation using a COTS Radio Control transmitter.View Demo