Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date



One disadvantage of automated material handling systems is their relative Inflexibility: once racks are installed and conveyors are laid, making even mi-nor changes to a system can be cumbersome and expensive. However, recent progress in the capabilities and cost of basic system components, such as controllers, drives, and sensors, has made possible a new class of material handling systems having a much higher degree of flexibility. We propose underlying de- sign principles for such systems and describe several prototype plug-and-work" systems, which feature decentralized control and ease of reconfiguration.


Paper 10

Publication Title

Proceedings of the International Material Handling Research Colloquium