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COORDINATING HUNDREDS OF COOPERATIVE, AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES IN A WAREHOUSE

Automation and Control Seminar 1

Dev Bahadur Poudel Automation and Control Seminar Jacobs University Bremen

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Structure of Presentation
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Overview on Multi-Agent System Multi Agent System in Warehouse Kiva System in Warehouse

Automation and Control Seminar

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Autonomous Robot
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Robots that can perform desired task in unstructured environment without human guidance. Have some degree of autonomy Have control over their internal state and their behavior

Automation and Control Seminar

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Agents
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Computer system that is capable of independent(autonomous) action to satisfy design objectives Problem Solving entities Situated in a particular environment (input environment through sensors and act on environment through effectors)

Automation and Control Seminar

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Multi-Agent System
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Agent Oriented Approach to solve Complex Problem Consist of a number of agents interacting with each other to accomplish the goal in a common environment Problem are decentralized to different agents Decomposition of Knowledge and Expertise Distributed Intelligence
Automation and Control Seminar Thursday, March 20, 2014

Why and Where Multi-agents Systems?


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Decentralization of Problems and Knowledge For Complex Control Systems Increase the productivity and decrease the cost Reliability, Robust Military Network-centric Operations Search and Rescue Transportation and Logistics Now days used in Warehouse to increase the efficiency
Automation and Control Seminar Thursday, March 20, 2014

Warehouse Scenario
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Goods-to- Customer

Automation and Control Seminar

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Traditional Automation in Warehouse

Pickers(human) move around the Warehouse Fetch products and return them to packing station Human have to look for the order items Order items in Conveyors Batch Processing Time consuming

Automation and Control Seminar

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Modern Automation in Warehouse


Orders item come in hand of picker like a MAGIC! Use of Autonomous agents Agents search the order fetch to the human Agents co-ordinate to achieve a system goal Many orders can be fulfilled Increases Productivity Kiva System
Automation and Control Seminar Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kiva System
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State-of-the art for modern automation in warehouse Founded on better approach for order fulfillment (goods to customers) Uses Hundreds of autonomous mobile robots Sophisticated control Software Uses the concept of Distributed Intelligence Founded in 2003 (Mick Mountz ) Fielded in 2006 Implements Distributed Intelligence
Automation and Control Seminar Thursday, March 20, 2014

Resources
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Inventory ( with dimensions and frequency) Inventory Pods (pods can visit one or multiple stations) Bins (pods can have 1-1000 bins) Order Pods Parking space for pods Robots Picking Stations
Automation and Control Seminar Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kiva System Layout


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Green: Storage Area Orange: Mobile Robots Blue: Stations


Automation and Control Seminar Thursday, March 20, 2014

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MAS Architecture in Warehouse(Kiva)


Agent 1
Job Manager

Inventory Station Agent 2

Drive Unit

Agent 3

Automation and Control Seminar

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Drive Unit Agent


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Mobile Robots Fetch the Inventory pod to the picking station Take the Order pods to the shipping station Transport the Inventory Pod to replenishment Path Planning

Automation and Control Seminar

Thursday, March 20, 2014

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Inventory Station Agent(ISA)

Picking stations : Workers pick items Replenishment stations: barcodes are scanned and appropriate pod come to the station Report accomplishment of its tasks. Equipped with computer that pick lights, barcode scanners, laser pointers used to identify the pick and put locations

Automation and Control Seminar

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Job Manager
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Central Server System Resource Allocation Communicate with Warehouse Management System Receives customer orders that need to be fulfilled Assigns drives, pods, and stations to carry out the tasks.
Automation and Control Seminar Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kiva Robots and Pods


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Automation and Control Seminar

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Kiva working Mechanism


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JM receives orders and assign to stations to fulfill Robot(Drive Unit) carries the inventory pods Inventory pods come to picking stations Picking: Workers pick items and put in order pod Shipping : Order pod move for shipping after fulfilling all the orders Replenishment : Inventory pods go for replenishment Automation and Control Seminar Thursday, March 20, 2014

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Order fetch Configuration

Automation and Control Seminar

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Path Planning
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Optimization of the path to fetch order from storage to the station A* Algorithm Travelling Salesman Problem

Automation and Control Seminar

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Resource Allocation Challenges

Objective: Optimizing the system(keep the workers busy minimizing the robots and pods used) Which order to assign to which robot? Which pod to pick up? Where to keep the pod after order is fulfilled? Which pod to send for replenishment? Optimization(make all the robots and stations busy)
Automation and Control Seminar Thursday, March 20, 2014

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Heuristic Technique for Optimization

Order Allocation 1.Time to fulfill the order must be minimized 2. Inventories around the station and in queue pods must be considered Inventory Pod Selection 1.Nearer pods 2. Multiple items to be picked in one visit

Automation and Control Seminar

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Resource Allocation
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Pod Storage Allocation: 1.Slow frequency pods kept backward 2.high frequency pods are kept nearer Robot Allocation: 1.Pick More pods using less Robots 2.Decrease the Queue in stations Replenishment Allocation: 1.Maximize the cubic utilization of the pods 2.Bin packing Problem 3.Create faster pods and slower pods

Automation and Control Seminar Thursday, March 20, 2014

Advantages
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Increase Productivity: double the output Lower Cost: lower installation and operational costs than traditional warehouse automation systems Location free replenishment : items can be kept in any pods Adaptive storage: Pods are store using heuristic Expandability :Add inventory pods and drive units to increase throughput during peak Automation and Control Seminar Thursday, March 20, 2014 season

Challenges
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To the Computer Scientist Development of an appropriate high level software infrastructure/framework to support the building of multi-agent systems Efficient Algorithm for Optimization Path Planning for robots Resource Allocation Coordinating Robots Dynamic, Stochastic and hence Intractable
Automation and Control Seminar Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kiva in Action
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Automation and Control Seminar

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Have a Nice Day!

Automation and Control Seminar

Thursday, March 20, 2014