Development of Autonomous Transport Vehicles and Human-Machine / Machine-Machine Interfaces for Smart Factories

Yazıcı A. (Executive) , Sarıçiçek İ. , Edizkan R. , Çevikalp H. , Sipahioğlu A.

TUBITAK Project, 2017 - 2021

  • Project Type: TUBITAK Project
  • Begin Date: October 2017
  • End Date: January 2021

Project Abstract

The primary purpose of this project is the realization of Autonomous Transport Vehicles (ATV/ OTA in Turkish) and the necessary human-machine and machine-machine interfaces as well as communication platforms for their integration to the factories of the future.

Given the difficulties encountered in the effective and efficient utilization of current automated guided vehicles (AGV) combined with the increased automation requirements in smart factories based on Industry 4.0 approaches, it has become evident that the development of next generation ATV’s that can cope with complex unstructured environments, operate both outdoors and indoors, and are integrated to manufacturing systems is necessary.  Although the scientific literature and technology on autonomous vehicles (more specifically, the literature on smart cars) has expanded significantly, other similar applications still require further research. This is particularly true for full autonomous operation inside factories. The realization of an autonomous control architecture that should integrate perception, high- and low-level control, and situational awareness for the successful deployment of ATV’s. In addition, achieving high overall factory performance requires glitch and conflict-free collaborative operation of all factory sub-systems including ATV’s. The realization of this type of operation on the other hand, requires the integration of ATV’s, human workers, MRP/ERP software, and other robotic systems. The proposed project aims to achieve autonomy both at the ATV and factory levels.


The multi-disciplinary project team consists of members from the fields of computer engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, mechatronics engineering, and industrial engineering with both theoretical and applied experience. The project partners have significant experience in autonomous vehicle design, data collection in factory environments, planning, and other fields relevant to the project. Aside from well-known approaches and technologies current employed in autonomous vehicles, mapping, localization, and object recognition for the indoor factory environments will be investigated during this project. Furthermore, cloud computing and big data wouldbe use for the mission planning, and situational awareness.


The smart ATV’s, interfaces and application platforms that will be the primary outcomes of the project are in line with the sub-topics of the grant call. The deliverables of the project will significantly contribute to the project call objectives that are based on the vertical integration (compatible with MRP and ERP systems, planning), autonomous robots (M2M, H2M, with self-learning capabilities), big data, cloud computing, and augmented reality aspects of the Industry 4.0 approaches. The ultimate output of the project will be an industrial application at a technological readiness level 5 (TRL-5) that incorporates all aspects mentioned above, and suitable for meeting the demands of companies that openly have supported this project.