RObot based Autonomous Refuse handling
With potential to increase both safety and quality aspects in our daily use of and interaction with vehicles, autonomous vehicles is currently a major trend in the automotive industry. The initial focus up to now has been on autonomous driving of passenger cars, like platooning and queueing assistance etc. There has also been initial tests with systems of construction equipment that perform autonomous asphalt spreading and gravel loading etc. A further step to extend and improve the service we experience today, might be to combine vehicles and peripheral support devices to join autonomous driving with autonomous loading and unloading of goods. In the future, an autonomous electrified distribution truck might for example work together with support devices to enable autonomous loading and unloading of goods to and from our doorstep just hours after we ordered a pick-up or delivery service online.
The RObot based Autonomous Refuse handling (ROAR) project is a first attempt to demonstrate such an autonomous combination. A refuse collection truck is equipped with an autonomously moving robot able to fetch, empty, and put back refuse bins in a predefined area. Chalmers is responsible for the overall control and supervision of the complete system and for developing the sub-system where a quadcopter autonomously detects within the specified area the position and orientation of the refuse bins to be emptied.
The ROAR project is initiated and lead by Volvo Group. Chalmers, Mälardalen University, and Pennsylvania State University take part in the project as being Preferred Academic Partners to Volvo Group. The intention from Volvo Group is that most of the development should be performed by students, for example through bachelor and master theses. Chalmers is represented by the Automation research group.
Pressrelease by AB Volvo >> Refuse truck driver is supported by robot
Per-Lage Götvall, Volvo Group
Volvo Group, Mälardalen University, Pennsylvania State University and Renova