Autonomous shuttle systems - Requirements, functionality and design concepts

Michael Schadler, Norbert Hafner, Andreas Wolfschluckner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


With the advent of cellular transportation systems, intralogistics saw a completely new concept of materials handling. The advantage of this technique is its ability to provide increased productivity and flexibility of material flow combined with a high degree of automation. Despite many advantages, the industry has hardly adopted the concept, due to high cost and the effort that is necessary to develop the hardware. Implementing modular assembly kits can help reduce the workload. In addition, modular assembly kits allow for a simple exchangeability of components based on individual requisitions.
The purpose of this paper is to present a new modular design catalog and knowledge representation for autonomous shuttle vehicles, providing an integral approach with the advantage of both open path navigation on the shop floor as well as inside an automated storage system.
Current systems are analyzed according to their tasks and functions. With the results of the analysis, requirements of possible new systems are defined. Based on a requirements list, four essential subassembly modules are categorized: carriage and drive train, sensor technology and control, energy management and load handling devices. In a knowledge-based engineering approach the interrelationships and dependencies between each module are demonstrated.
The combination of technical solutions contained in the design catalog allows the creation of several potential systems. A total of three exemplary shuttles are described from different perspectives: the shuttle ‘flexible’ is able to handle multiple loads with varying dimensions, the shuttle ‘standard’ describes a single load system similar to vehicles currently used and finally the shuttle ‘budget’ that provides similar functionality at a lower cost.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings in Manufacturing Systems
Place of PublicationBucharest
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings in Manufacturing Systems
ISSN (Print)2067-9238

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Fields of Expertise

  • Mobility & Production


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