State-of-the-art manufacturing systems often use autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) for the displacement of parts or finished products. Being not only more flexible but also more cost-effective than conveyor lines, use of such systems have arisen significantly in the latest decades. The task of AGVs is to follow a predefined path between stations, hence their control manly focuses on path following.
This thesis presents the development of a mobile unit for a model-sized inductive guidance AGV system. After establishing the principles of inductive sensing, the design of the sensor system for the mobile platform is expounded. Its parts such as the oscillating circuit, rectifier and low-pass filter are described in details as well as the circuitry for sensing the lack of guidance signal.
Second part of the thesis presents the embedded on-board control unit responsible for path following. Along with the software module realizing the control algorithm complementary circuitries putting it into action are also detailed. Proper closed-loop behavior is verified by a suitable testbed.