IEEE Journal on Robotics and Automation

Traffic Control of Multiple Robot Vehicles

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This paper addresses the control of traffic when there are large numbers of Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV's) in a factory. Although in most existing systems, AGV's follow predetermined tracks with few switches, newer AGV technology will allow each vehicle to follow unconstrained paths. This paper analyzes several possible policies for managing AGV's to minimize the impact of traffic jams. In a grid-iron network of roads, it is shown that traffic contention can have a large effect on the collective performance of AGV's. It is shown that a particular traffic policy permits the AGVs to be autonomous and independent while avoiding deadlocks. This policy is shown to be close to optimal, even for large numbers of vehicles. It is also shown under what conditions it is beneficial to modify the factory to have highways and superhighways. © 1988 IEEE


01 Jan 1988


IEEE Journal on Robotics and Automation