Kollro 4.0 (BMBF)
February 22, 2017
Within the framework of the programme “Research at Universities of Applied Sciences in cooperation with companies (FHprofUnt)“, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding together with partners from industry the research project Collaborative Tugger Train 4.0 (KollRo 4.0). The research project is being carried out on an interdisciplinary basis by the Schools of Engineering, Informatics and ESB Business School at Reutlingen University.
The project aims at developing a collaborative tugger train for the automation of production logistics. Nowadays material supply activities are mostly carried out manually. Within these processes the deployment of tugger trains has become very widespread due to their high load capacity and their operating reliability. Loading of the trains as well as unloading at the installation locations are carried out manually. Automation of these processes offers enormous potential in the light of demographic trends as well as for economic and ergonomic reasons. The collaborative tugger train being developed here consists of an autonomously operating towing vehicle including a manipulator and gripper system for small load carriers. It will be fitted with sensors so that it can cope with a selection of different objects and the unstructured environment. In order to be autonomous and reliable the collaborative tugger train must be designed as an intelligent system with a high level of flexibility. A system will be developed that is capable of interactive collaboration between humans and robots. In addition to safety and assistance systems, image processing algorithms for uncontrolled environments are necessary. Moreover, machine learning methods will be integrated and perception functionalities for localisation and navigation developed.