Automa Intelligente Robotico per Organizzazione Navette Elettriche
Intelligent Robotic Automaton for Electric Shuttle Management

The AIRONE project aims to study and experiment:

  • a multi-AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles) system for the sorting of goods destined to stores;
  • a system for supervision and optimization of missions;
  • an integrated predictive maintenance system.

AGVs are now widely available in the industry, in particular in the realization of automated warehouses. There are well-established applications in large areas used for storage of non-perishable goods, where large quantities of goods are moved in areas that also develop in height. In this case, fork-lift laser-guided are used that can lift pallets of considerable weight (several thousand pounds) to several meters in height. The phases of storage and picking are overlapping, and efficiency is achieved mainly through speed, high payload to limit travel, structuring of the operating environment.

The scope of the project concerns a new field in which current technologies are not applicable. The operational area, because of the type of perishable goods (to be moved quickly), can not be considered a traditional store, but rather the sorting area where the goods are situated on the ground in inaccurate positions and are moved on supports of different types (pallets and roll), with relatively low weights. The phase considered is picking and efficiency depends on the ability to operate in a relatively uncertain and poorly structured way, with repeated coordinated trips, dynamic planning and high availability.

The system is critical in terms of efficiency since operations must necessarily take place within a limited time frame.

It also requires a high level of flexibility as the intended use of areas is not fixed but can vary from day to day.

The area is in fact divided into "corselli" (areas drawn on the ground similar to the car parking spaces) and each point of sale may be by the day assigned a different number of "corselli" depending on the amount of assigned goods.

Traditional AGV can not be used in this context due to different factors.

AGVs for automated management of large storage warehouses are large vehicles and are not compatible with the spaces typically available in areas for the sorting of perishable goods, weighting much higher than their actual load. Their features are generally oversized if compared to the modest requirements for the specific application and consequently represent a cost that does not make them competitive, even if spaces were made eligible to their use. For the targeted application, it is reasonable to move the goods with ground forks on wheels in order to use vehicles with very small dimensions and thus ensure a good flexibility in handling, even in tight spaces.

It is also necessary to determine efficient usage patterns, both from the point of view of the technological solution and of definition and reorganization.

It is also necessary to ensure the maintenance of efficiency and availability of the system to which they are applied. In this sense, consistency, efficiency and quality become key factors with a consequent increase in the average quality of products/services, and finally with the reduction of the risk of accidents casued by defective plants or equipments, breakdowns and accidents with obvious repercussions on the company.

To obtain an optimal management of the system efficiency, the product / process carried must be integrated with a dedicated maintenance system. The project provides integration with a computer system that can read the environment and express functions in the field of both status and predictive maintenance. The implementation of innovative diagnostic systems, aimed at predictive maintenance, is a justification both from technical and economical points of view. The technological product generates an overall reduction in annual running costs and enables in the long term to obtain margins higher than those that would occur without the use of diagnostics. Moreover, this makes it possible to delay the economic obsolescence of machines and existing plants.

Softeco Sismat Srl (IT)

Sogegross SpA (IT)

Genova Robot Srl (IT)

University of Genoa – DIST (Department of Informatics, Systems and Telematics) (IT)

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Gianni Viano

Christian Melchiorre

Know how - eWork


POR Liguria

Grant agreement
N° ...

Start date
December 2011

24 months

Softeco Sismat (IT)


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