Sensor guides robotic vehicles along invisible magnetic tracks

January 09, 2013 // By Julien Happich
Roboteq has released a magnetic guide sensor capable of detecting and reporting the position of a magnetic field along its horizontal axis. The MGS1600 sensor, built onto a compact 25x160x20mm open board module, is intended for line following robotic applications, using adhesive magnetic tape to form a track guide on the floor.

It uses advanced signal processing to accurately measure its lateral distance from the center of the track, from a height up to 60mm. With a position resolution of 1mm, the MGS1600 provides the highest precision in the market. It is primarily used to steer Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs), moving material on factory floors. The magnetic track can be totally hidden under any non-ferrous flooring material, such as linoleum, tiles, or carpet. The MGS1600 has a uniquely long list connectivity options: the tape position information can be output in numerical format on the sensor's RS232, USB, CANbus, Analog or PWM ports. The sensor can be interfaced directly to any of Roboteq's motor controllers in order to create an effective Automatic Guided Vehicle solution with just two components. The sensor can also be connected to any PLC using a choice of Analog, PWM, RS232 or CANbus interfaces. Using USB, the sensor can easily be interfaced to any PC compatible computer. The sensor will detect and manage up to 2-way forks and can be instructed to follow the left or right track using commands issued via its digital inputs, the Serial, USB or CANbus ports. The sensor is equipped with several LEDs for easy monitoring and diagnostics.

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