ANT(R) Automomous Navigation Technology

Autonomous Navigation
Technology (ANT®)

NATURAL FEATURE NAVIGATION FOR YOUR AGV, AUTOMATED FORKLIFT OR MOBILE ROBOT

Your vehicle,
our navigation

ANT® navigation technology is an accurate, robust and flexible solution that meets the evolving needs of vehicle producers and operators. Based on 20 years of industry experience, ANT® is simple to use and cost-effective to install and modify.

Stack-Quick To Install

Quick

TO INSTALL
& MODIFY

Stack-Accurate to 1 cm-1°

Accurate

TO
±1 cm / ±1°

Stack-Scalable-Create An ANT(R) fleet

Scalable

CREATE AN
ANT® FLEET

WHY CHOOSE NATURAL FEATURE NAVIGATION?

There are numerous types of AGV navigation technology available today. The table below explains the relative strengths and weaknesses of each.

These AGVs are equipped with a specific sensor to follow a physical line
on the ground (e.g. magnetic tape, inductive wire).

line following navigation technology
Pros
  • Reliable
  • Accurate
  • Not affected by changes in environment
Cons
  • Time-consuming/expensive to install
  • Time-consuming/expensive to modify
  • Fleet management difficult

These vehicles are equipped with a specific sensor (e.g. a camera or code reader),
which follows a route defined by tags.

tag-based navigation technology
Pros
  • Reliable
  • Accurate
  • Not affected by changes in environment
Cons
  • Time-consuming/expensive to install
  • Time-consuming/expensive to modify
  • Fleet management difficult

The position of the vehicle is triangulated using laser beams that are
reflected back from reflectors. The paths followed are virtual.

laser triangulation navigation technology
Pros
  • Reliable
  • Accurate
  • Modification simple (unless more reflectors needed)
  • Efficient fleet management
Cons
  • Installation of reflectors time-consuming/expensive

Uses cameras to recognize features in the environment, with which the
vehicle's position is calculated. The paths followed are virtual.

vision guidance navigation technology
Pros
  • Quick & simple to install
  • No infrastructure changes
Cons
  • Accuracy affected by changes in lighting conditions
  • Accuracy affected by changes in environment

Uses points measured with a vehicle's laser scanner(s) to identify – and
thereafter match – structures in the environment. The paths followed are
virtual. Also called: SLAM navigation, natural navigation.

natural feature navigation technology based on SLAM
Pros
  • Quick & simple to install/modify
  • Minimal infrastructure changes (possibly reflective stickers)
Cons
  • Sensitive to changes in environment (affecting accuracy/robustness)
  • Additional laser scanners (high on vehicle) add cost
  • Software tools (configuration/fleet management) often basic

Uses features measured with a laser scanner to identify – and thereafter
match – structures in the environment. The paths followed are virtual.

ANT natural feature navigation technology by BlueBotics
Pros
  • Quick & simple to install/modify
  • Minimal infrastructure changes (possibly reflective stickers)
  • Accurate & robust to environmental change
  • Advanced fleet management (incl. multi-brand)
ANT natural feature navigation technology by BlueBotics

How does ANT® Navigation work?

ANT® natural feature navigation (sometimes called ‘natural navigation’, 'free navigation' or ‘SLAM navigation’) uses a vehicle’s existing laser safety scanners to first identify and then match permanent features in the environment, such as walls, pillars, and machines.

1. Create your map

Drive your AGV manually around the site. Our ANT® lab software (supplied) records data from the vehicle’s safety laser scanners, which is then used to generate a 2D map. Lastly, ‘clean’ this map by removing any dynamic objects, leaving only permanent features such as walls and pillars. These ‘references’ will be used to calculate your vehicle’s position, allowing it to navigate effectively.

How ANT navigation technology works - step 1
How ANT navigation technology works - Step 2

2. DEFINE YOUR OPERATION

Program your AGV's required routes. Then, add actions such as moving a lift truck's forks, setting a digital I/O, or communicating with the vehicle's PLC. Routes and actions are configured in ANT® lab.

3. Go to Work

Start your first mission! Your ANT® driven vehicle will use a combination of safety scanner data and odometry to move safely through the environment, following your pre-defined routes and actions. In the case of multiple AGVs, traffic and fleet management is easily handled by our ANT® server software (available with ANT® lite+).

How ANT navigation technology works - Step 3

What features does
ANT® navigation include?

Autonomous Navigation Technology (ANT®) includes a wide range of features to automate your AGV, forklift or mobile robot. Each function has been designed to bring real-world value, based on the needs of customers around the world.

Feature Robust Localization

Robust
localization

Feature Optimal Vehicle Control

Optimal
vehicle control

Feature Full Kinematic Support

Full kinematic support

Feature Optimized Path Follower

Optimized
path follower

Feature Obstacle Avoidance Option

Obstacle avoidance option

Feature Fork Control

Fork
control

Feature Embedded Mission Control

Embedded mission control

Feature Pallet Rack-Cart Trackers

Pallet, 4-leg &
hitch trackers

Feature Full Integration Support

Full integration support (incl. on-site)

  • RobustLocalization-Icon-Feature

    Robust Localization

  • OptimalVehicleControl-Icon-Feature

    Optimal Vehicle Control

  • FullKinematicSupport-Icon-Feature

    Full Kinematic Support

  • OptimizedPathFollower-Icon-Feature

    Optimized Path Follower

  • ObstacleAvoidanceOption-Icon-Feature

    Obstacle Avoidance Option

  • ForkControl-Icon-Feature

    Fork Control

  • EmbeddedMissionControl-Icon-Feature

    Embedded Mission Control

  • Pallet-rack-cart-trackers-Icon-Feature

    Pallet, 4-leg & hitch trackers

  • FullIntegrationSupport-Icon-Contact

    Full Integration support (incl. on-site)

Additional
with
ANT® server

Feature Fleet Management

Fleet
management

Feature Intelligent Mission Scheduling

Intelligent mission scheduling

Feature Traffic Control

Traffic
control

Feature Battery Charge Management

Battery charge management

Feature Equipment Interfacing

Equipment
interfacing

Feature Mission Simulation

Mission
simulation

Feature System Monitoring

System
monitoring

Feature API

API connection to WMS/MES/ERP

  • FleetManagement-Icon-Feature

    Fleet Management

  • IntelligentMissionScheduling-Icon-Feature

    Intelligent Mission Scheduling

  • Traffic Control

  • Battery charge management for autonomous vehicles

    Battery Charge Management

  • Equipment interfacing

    Equipment Interfacing

  • Simulation

    Mission Simulation

  • System monitoring

    System Monitoring

  • API connection to WMS/MES/ERP

    API Connection to WMS/MES/ERP

EXPERT INTEGRATION &
INSTALLATION SUPPORT

When you choose ANT® natural feature navigation, our experienced team of engineers works closely with you to ensure the successful integration of this technology into your vehicle.

We provide on-site support as standard during this process. We even help you install your vehicle at your first customer's site. Again, at no extra cost.

Adrien SALGADO
Systems Engineer

Languages:
EN, FR

Dr. Mathias PERROLLAZ
Head of Systems

Languages:
EN, FR, IT

Antoine AUPEE
Systems Engineer

Languages:
EN, FR

  • 20 YRS

    Of Natural
    Feature
    Navigation

  • 2,000+

    ANT® driven
    VEHICLES IN
    OPERATION

  • 1,000+

    END-USER INSTALLATIONS

  • 10+

    MILLION KM
    DRIVEN BY ANT®

Product
Finder

WHICH ANT® PRODUCT DO I NEED?

To identify the best ANT® navigation system for your vehicle, use our product finder or comparison table below. Or schedule a call with our team to discuss your needs.

Compare ANT® Products

Localization

Control

Emulation of line following

Mission Management

Fleet Management

Icon-ANT(R)lite+
ANT® lite+
Icon-ANT(R)localization+
ANT® localization+
Icon-ANT(R)localization
ANT® localization

(with ANT® server)

Let’s discuss your autonomous
navigation needs

Do you have a question about which navigation technology to choose? Would you like to discuss a specific application? Or are you curious to see an on-screen ANT® demo? Click below to schedule a call with our expert team.

BlueBotics Autonomous Navigation