Autonomous motion, guidance, and monitoring system
The eMotionSpheres demonstration system from Festo is an autonomous motion, guidance, and monitoring system that is designed for logistics and fulfillment applications. The eMotionSpheres consists of eight propeller-driven helium filled spheres, each 37.4 in. in diameter and has an adaptive propeller modeled after a dragonfly’s wing.
Ten cameras installed in the demonstration area record the location of the spheres via active infrared markers (infrared LEDs), embedded in each sphere, and pass on the position data to a central master computer. The calculated actions are sent back to the spheres, where they are implemented locally by motor-driven propellers. On the computer there are pre-programmed paths that specify the spheres’ flight paths when flying in formation. Additional stored behavior patterns enable the spheres to move autonomously through the space.
The adaptive propellers are designed to supply the same thrust in both the forward and reverse direction. The spheres can be steered in any spatial direction to an accuracy of .4 inches (1 cm). In terms of power, the spheres regularly and autonomously dock at a charging station. They can be used as flying objects for several days without a person having to intervene.
– Edited by CFE Media. See more Control Engineering CNC and motion control products.