Safe Control Technology for Driverless Transport Systems (DTS)


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Die sichere Interaktion mit Menschen erfordert neue Sicherheitskonzepte

As part of its research and development efforts, HIMA maintains a close relationship with the Institute for Material Handling and Logistics (IFL) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

KARIS, a small-scale autonomous redundant intralogistics system, is the result of a joint precompetitive R&D project from the technology working group of the German nonprofit association Intralogistik-Netzwerk Baden-Württemberg, at the IFL. HIMA is responsible for the project’s safe control technology, whose functions include dynamic implementation of laser scanner protective fields, the reaction to reliably detected obstacles, safe communications and safe interaction with persons.

The revolutionary KARIS system is based on the use of decentralized controlled transportation modules instead of rigid, inflexible material flow systems such as roll conveyors or conveyor belts. Whether operating as individual modules or in clusters for transporting larger loads in an industrial environment, the intelligent transportation modules do not require predefined paths but instead move autonomously into position.

A self-configuring system
KARIS PRO is a highly flexible material handling system composed of multiple, identical transportation units. Each KARIS element is capable of orienting itself autonomously within its environment and can perform individual transportation tasks through decentralized control. Multiple elements can build conveyor lines independently or combine into clusters of variable size to transport larger objects as a group.

The KARIS flexible approach allows companies to organize production more efficiently while simultaneously reducing costs. Additional advantages include simple adaptation to changing product portfolios, optimal deployment of the transportation resources and high availability ensured by redundancy. By 2016, two pilot projects are planned to be established in actual production environments.

Versatile and safe
Mobile units that move autonomously and organize themselves within flexible clusters are difficult to combine with light grids, hard guards or other conventional protective measures. With HICore 1, the safety system-on-chip, HIMA contributes to a flexible, high-performance safety concept.

HICore 1 - The new safety system-on-chip
As a system-on-chip that is fully TÜV-certified for use up to SIL 3, HICore 1 is the exceptionally compact and comparatively inexpensive safety solution used in KARIS PRO. The solution includes the hardware and a software package consisting of an operating system and middleware. The entire operating system is also certified up to SIL 3. Refer to our HICore pages for further technical details on the architecture and certification.

The new safety system-on-chip provides a compact solution for individual safety systems and allows the integration of safety features as they are identified in the future. Applicable in KARIS PRO and logistics/intralogistics systems, HICore 1 has also been proven in medical technologies and energy producing systems, and can be used for sensors and actuators or control technology.


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