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Sky-Trax Inc. has successfully demonstrated its indoor positioning sensor (IPS) technology for navigating an automatic guided vehicle (AGV) within the warehouse. The demonstration took place at the St. Augustine, Fla. facility of Amerden AGV, Inc., a maker of AGV systems. An automated vehicle, originally designed to use a standard laser-guidance system for navigation, was retrofitted with the Sky-Trax IPS. With changes to the AGV controller software, the AGV was able to navigate freely within the warehouse, pick up a pallet from the floor, move it to a new storage location, and precisely deposit it. A Centrally Controlled Vehicle (CCV) program was launched earlier this year to provide the "missing technology" for both non-automated and automated vehicles to operate safety and simultaneously within the same space using the same navigation technology. Additional components of the CCV system yet to be demonstrated include collision avoidance and vehicle fleet-routing software. The goal is to safely operate a fleet consisting of traditional driven lift trucks and automated vehicles, the companies said. The AGV retrofitted with the Sky-Trax System uses an optical sensor and ceiling-mounted optical positioning markers to navigate freely within the warehouse space. The technology determined the AGV's position and orientation several times each second. The Sky-Trax System will work in virtually any building or indoor environment, providing a cost-effective alternative for AGV guidance, according to Sky-Trax.
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