Mathematical Modelling of Container Transfers for a Fleet of Autonomous Straddle Carriers

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Conferences on Robotics and Automation, 2010, pp. 1261 - 1266
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The main contribution of this paper is a mathematical model describing performance metrics for coordinating multiple mobile robots in a seaport container terminal. The scenario described here requires dealing with many difficult practical challenges such as the presence of multiple levels of container stacking and sequencing, variable container orientations, and vehicular dynamics that require finite acceleration and deceleration times. Furthermore, in contrast to the automatically guided vehicle planning problem in a manufacturing environment, the container carriers described here are free ranging. Although, the port structure imposes a set of âvirtualâ roadways along which the vehicles are allowed to travel, path planning is essential in preventing contention and collisions. A performance metric which minimises total yard-vehicle usage, while producing robust traffic plans by encouraging both early starting and finishing of jobs is presented for different vehicle fleet sizes and job allocation scenarios.
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