BlueBotics ANT 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.

BlueBotics ANT Navigation is Quick To Install.

Quick

TO INSTALL
& MODIFY

BlueBotics Accurate to 1 cm/1°.

Accurate

TO
±1 cm / ±1°

BlueBotics Create an ANT driven fleet.

Scalable

CREATE AN
ANT FLEET

WHY CHOOSE ANT 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 the environment
is regularly re-scanned, and the paths followed are virtual.
Also called: SLAM navigation, free 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 environment is scanned once,
the system then recognizes a small number of permanent features within
that environment during every future mission. The paths followed are virtual.
Also called: SLAM navigation, free navigation.

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.

BlueBotics Robust Localization.

Robust
localization

BlueBotics Optimal Vehicle Control.

Optimal
vehicle control

BlueBotics Full Kinematic Support.

Full kinematic support

BlueBotics Optimized Path Follower.

Optimized
path follower

BlueBotics Obstacle Avoidance Option.

Obstacle avoidance option

BlueBotics Fork Control.

Fork
control

BlueBotics Embedded Mission Control.

Embedded mission control

BlueBotics Pallet, Rack, Cart Trackers.

Pallet, 4-leg &
hitch trackers

BlueBotics Full Integration Support.

Full integration support (incl. on-site)

  • Robust Localization

    Robust Localization

  • Optimal Vehicle Control

    Optimal Vehicle Control

  • FullKinematicSupport-Icon-Feature

    Full Kinematic Support

  • Optimized Path Follower

    Optimized Path Follower

  • Obstacle Avoidance Option

    Obstacle Avoidance Option

  • ForkControl-Icon-Feature

    Fork Control

  • EmbeddedMissionControl-Icon-Feature

    Embedded Mission Control

  • Pallet, Rack, Cart Trackers

    Pallet, 4-leg & hitch trackers

  • FullIntegrationSupport-Icon-Contact

    Full Integration support (incl. on-site)

Additional
with
ANT server

BlueBotics Fleet Management.

Fleet
management

BlueBotics Intelligent Mission Scheduling.

Intelligent mission scheduling

BlueBotics Traffic Control.

Traffic
control

BlueBotics Battery Charge Management.

Battery charge management

BlueBotics Equipment Interfacing.

Equipment
interfacing

BlueBotics Mission Simulation.

Mission
simulation

BlueBotics System Monitoring.

System
monitoring

BlueBotics API.

API connection to WMS/MES/ERP

  • FleetManagement-Icon-Feature

    Fleet Management

  • Intelligent Mission Scheduling

    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
Senior Systems Engineer

Languages:
EN, FR

Dr. Mathias PERROLLAZ
Head of Systems

Languages:
EN, FR, IT

Antoine AUPEE
Lead Systems Engineer

Languages:
EN, FR

  • 20 YRS

    Of Natural
    Feature
    Navigation

  • 4,000+

    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

ANT lite+ 2.0.
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