In a Hospital it is a prerequisite that the AGV Navigation System facilitates manoeuvring within tight and congested areas. “Contour Navigation” provides this capability and is the system used by the Quirepace STEERON vehicle.
In the past Automated Guided Vehicles required physical infrastructure from which to obtain positioning information and hence navigate their way through the building. These systems used embedded wires, tapes, magnets and reflectors. “Contour Navigation” uses nothing but the building itself from which to navigate.
Whilst moving, the AGV continuously scans the environment using infra-red scanning lasers at each end of the vehicle to obtain distance and directional information. By comparing the scan data with an in-built map of the environment, the software is able to calculate the vehicle’s position.
The development and production team responsible for the Quirepace STEERON vehicle have delivered hundreds of vehicles to hospitals Worldwide, and have many years’ experience with Contour Navigation systems. All the lessons and experience gained in the past have been applied to the new software in order to deliver a solution that is capable of navigating an AGV in a “real world” hospital environment, where some clutter is inevitable.
With two scanners continuously scanning the full 360 degree environment, dynamic adjustments within the mapping system make allowance for the inevitable changes and deviations experienced in a live hospital environment, ensuring a reliable and consistent transportation service.
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