At the heart of the Industry 4.0 solutions that SEW-EURODRIVE - based in Bruchsal, Germany - recently showcased at HANNOVER MESSE 2017 is the loose interlinking of individual process modules. For example, mobile logistics assistants will freely navigate areas as a swarm and take care of delivery logistics. Thanks to the option of adapting the working and/or transfer height, they could also be used as mobile assembly assistants.
Navigation and localization are performed using new SLAM technology. "SLAM" stands for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping and means that the mobile logistics assistants are equipped with safety laser scanners that emit laser beams and measure these beams as they bounce off surrounding objects. This helps the mobile logistics assistant work out how far away the objects are. The navigation system in the assistant uses the data obtained to create a map of its surroundings. The vehicle can then harness the laser data and odometry - in other words, the assessment of position and orientation using the propulsion system - to determine its location on this map. Positioning relative to the other objects is also possible, which enables free navigation - in a warehouse, for example - without additional points of reference.