Sick UK has released a system that enables free navigation of automated transport, stacking and loading systems based on the pre-mapped contours of sites without the need for reflectors or physical markers.
With the release of the SICK LiDAR-LOC solution for mobile platforms, users can implement contour-based localisation on any automated guided vehicle (AGV), cart, forklift or service robot fitted with SICK 2D LiDAR sensors or safety scanners.
Thanks to the SICK LiDAR-LOC, production teams can avoid changes to fixed infrastructure if they want to adapt the paths of AGVs, automated forklifts or shuttle systems. Systems using one or more SICK LiDAR sensors can be set up with minimal programming time, combining proven software with reliable and accurate scanning technology and with the option to integrate motion control and odometry. As a result, software development, installation, hardware and maintenance costs can all be dramatically reduced.
Available as a software-only option, and with the ability to be retrofitted easily to already-installed scanners, the Sick LiDAR-LOC puts an end to costly installation and maintenance of reflectors, special paints, tracks, magnetic strips or coloured tapes by learning and recognising the physical contours of a factory or warehouse interior, says the company.
“This Localisation on Contour algorithm has been available on our 360° NAV scanners since early in 2019, and following its success, Sick decided to open up its precise localisation capabilities and easy-set-up advantages across their entire 2D LiDAR range,” says Neil Sandhu, Sick’s UK product manager for imaging, measurement and ranging.
“For example, many of our customers using Sick safety scanners on mobile platforms are asking us if they can access the raw data for navigation purposes, so they can save cost, space and wiring complexity, especially for smaller and low-to-the ground mobile platforms.”
Sick UK believes this is therefore an important step for its customers towards achieving greater Industry 4.0 production flexibility and that Sick is the first manufacturer to offer an entire hardware and software solution as part it’s indoor localisation portfolio.
With complete visual coverage and a scanning angle of up to 360deg, the LiDAR-LOC has a working range of up to 250 m with precise contour recognition, a positioning accuracy of ± 30 mm and a localisation resolution of 1 mm at refresh rates of 30Hz, depending on the scanner used.