Simultaneous Scheduling of Machines and Mobile Robots
This paper deals with the problem of simultaneously scheduling machines and a number of autonomous mobile robots in a flexible manufacturing system (FMS). Besides capability of transporting materials between machines, the considered mobile robots are different from other material handling devices in terms of their advanced ability to perform tasks at machines by using their manipulation arms. The mobile robots thus have to be scheduled in relation to scheduling of machines so as to increase the efficiency of the overall system. The performance criterion is to minimize time required to complete all tasks or makespan. A heuristic based on genetic algorithm is developed to find the best solution for the problem. A numerical example is investigated to demonstrate results of the proposed approach. The implementation of the proposed approach in a multi-agent system is also generally described.
KeywordsScheduling Mobile Robots Genetic Algorithm FMS
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