After many years providing library material sorters, we identified another challenge faced by libraries – the transportation and movement of high-volume book bins throughout the facility surrounded by objects, people and the general public.
As such, we developed Evo Bin Caddy, an autonomous ground vehicle that can move a high volume book bin without any modifications of the built environment as the caddy navigates visually and without requiring visual guides. We achieved this by incorporating three solid-state 3D depth cameras, 2 wide-angle cameras and a spinning lidar measurement sensor that determines the caddy’s location and detect surrounding obstacles making it safe to operate in public areas when libraries are busy.
The caddy is based on a CNC machined aluminium chassis, steel suspension members and in-wheel direct-drive servo motors. A fabricated aluminium mast and carbon fibre body panels run up past the cargo and is topped by a heat-formed PMMA head with a touch screen. The system is powered by lithium-ion batteries and controlled by a powerful embedded micro-computer.
Each Evo Bin Caddy can move an Evo Smart Bin containing over 100 kg of books and work collaboratively with other bin caddies and staff members to efficiently complete tasks, such as:
- Collecting bins of books from remote book return locations
- Removing bins from the sorter when they become full
- Delivering bins to specific areas throughout the library
Evo Bin Caddy can be integrated with the building management systems to operate secured staff doors and we are currently working to incorporate lift control system intergration, so that the caddies can ride the elevators in multi-story buildings.
Watch these videos to see our Evo Bin Caddy prototype: